A Conversation, Colored Lonely

(written in collaboration with the inimitable Lois E Linkens)

 

it is at night,
when the silence screams the loudest.
when the curtains are drawn,
and the candle snuffed –
the air is burnt,
with the orange glow
of the blackened wick.
a single star
in an empty sky,
a tiger’s eye
in the witching forest,
a lonely car
on the midnight highway.

in the daylight

the silence is shushed

its horns ground down

under the trampling of the day

it finds kindred spirits

lurking in the pauses

poised to pounce

between hither and yon

a rabid Chimera

intent on foiling its captors

it is at night,
when the silence grows its wings;
when it becomes
arms and fingers
that squeeze and squash,
leaving their purple stains
across my skin.
so tomorrow,
i’ll cover up –
for what does loneliness wear,
when it wants to make a friend?

 

in the daylight

I dress to kill that silence

bedecked with breastplates

silvery self-reliance

protecting mawkish heartstrings

strained to breaking

by the violent plucking

of the silence in the

blue-black night

diamond crusted gauntlets

constrict my fingers

stretching toward contact

 

it is at night,
when the ancient words echo;
Plato’s Symposium
rattles through my brain
like bullets fleeing from the barrel.
you are incomplete,
he whispers;
your God-given substance
will not sustain,
your severed arms
are bound to flail
in this darkness,
grappling for a mate
that never comes near.
as i topple on the edge of sleep,
the condescending voice
of ancient wisdom
bends my will across its knee.

 

in the daylight

learned philosophers

uncloaked

under Ra’s harsh glare –

elderly drunkards

babbling in their cups –

beneath the penetrating rays

hypocrisy illumined.

I splashdown

in the well of loneliness

dug by my constraints

listen as they old-woman cackle

when I savor the dip.

I taste the madness

of love requited

sip from my flask

fractious firewater

eau de fierce independence

with the throatiest of howls

I birth my own

dancing star

 

 

 

Clean Up on Aisle 6

I grocery shop

Friday nights after work

from habit

rather than necessity

in the full days

demands of kids’ schedules

house, garden and partner

episodic social life

weekly menu

planned and posted

efficient and organized

chore checked off

as weekend begins

tonight my list

is sparse

self-deluding

endeavor a farce

it’s allergy season

vigorous nose-blow

disguises

upstart tears

I summon the smile

chat with the cashier

repay Trader Joe’s

perpetual friendliness

in kind

small-talk, check

gracious smile

he encourages me

to pick out

a fresh bouquet

on him

Do my eyes

scream wounded doe?

Wallpapering

scented candles

impersonate lilac’s trademark

perfumed bouquet

dead fish flop

flounder amidships

threadbare, enshrouding

pulsating stench

of her loneliness

lambent flickers

masquerade Joker

maniacal flame

smog bitter

lacerate tented

curtain over the abyss

perfunctory trappings

no more

comfort create

than floorboards blocked

thunderous tell-tale thumping

of guilty heart

*Footnote to self: Phantosmia is indicative of brain lesions