These songs are waste-gold
a matter of passing time
together as we wait for night —
they are meant to be loving
they do not touch you
they have no fingers.
How hard to give a blessing under
these conditions. How hard
to bear a heart’s void chambers
sucking and flushing blood.
These songs flare
in the bare space between
my body and your marble
your marble with the missing pieces.
Any beauty I find here
is fractured, in need of repair.
I lack the skill, I lack the will —
already we are both cold.
That death was a masterpiece
striking just the right balance
between delicacy and the grotesque.
The books you carried to prison
lilacs without breath on their branches
God was there, God, I think, God.
A child lay weeping in his cradle
and past the window death hurried
sly and bright-eyed in the dusk.
I want a song to cancel desolation
it’s not good enough, to say
this is how lovely things break, like this.
And when he kneels
his hands like flowers
under the white tree
in this way, the spring
wind leaks a scent
from which my words
recoil, wet-eyed —
the blossoms crumple
too soon for summer.