Before hard faced words and tightened bouquets of spite,
The child swirled in embryo, unscathed by adult cast of hate
Yet unknowing we inhabit cruelty, like a brand in darkness will
light no way but vengeance, reflecting shadows of lost conscience
against petroglyph walls
stories dissipated in forgetting what is true.
This child who once had temerity and self-worth clad about her, the vestige
of some right to exist, perhaps.
An instinct, as weeds will thrive in exhaust and skinny cats climb insurmountable
to glut on that thrashing impulse, called survival
words now scarred, like badly bandaged souls do not forget the echo
of a tender heart turned wicked, nor that merciless piercing
through skin thought impenetrable, to embrace hot metal
as if it did not catch our very soul on fire.
Once, we all wished for, love, pure and unfettered, blooming as night rose
carrying her scent against warm air, inhaling vetiver magic, aware then, of all things
our cache of hope, restless in the waves, we yield, undulate and count
moon peal across black water, spinning youth into gossamer
too fine to hold us securely.
Those burnt coals raked certain, beneath the old impulse to run
mindful of how we grow, the thirst for something real remains
against the roar of white waves, crashing tirelessly to shore
reducing our ankles frigid with the climb, a vaunted capture
of sea — receding against open hands to places beyond
our feeble reach.
As it grows light, the footsteps of those who walked ahead
finding debris of promises washed to shore, frozen by their spent fuse
and silvery starlight echoing her distant mockery of possessing any
those, who for some reason remain here, despite themselves
hollow in the want for familiar arms to gather them up whole
pressed to a beating heart, the murmur of security bound in
A reddening brings the dream, she swoops low and achingly,
casting silvered birds from their reverie
that we not succumb to our collective despair
finding the drawers and cupboards of truth ransacked and emptied
by unseen robber
and instead, wait by the edge, long in the rising sear of sun
blackening our backs with shadow
for the sound of her footfall, across the dunes, sunk in splendor.
Her journey long, she made it anyway, even in the worst heat
of midday, when insects burrow against the burn and her mouth
opened in an O for the drink of your love
a beacon on a jutting rock, watching seagulls mock the air
with white foamy lift
wanting only for you to need
in equaled measure.