Late summer’s long shadows hide a sparkling shimmer of dying warmth.
Notions swept up in cool breezes,
and fermented dreams linger in the strange science of failed connections.
There, the sounds of a stranger’s voice,
an exhale, and a kiss that’s never been,
drowning in the lustful, coated swirl of a drained cup.
I’ll be waiting there, in the dream space,
painted with stars and drops.
Stir the current with your way,
and find me.
The First Lieutenant
A calm sway — bend and creak.
Descending steps, those salt-stained timbers;
Weeping wax and fading light,
the dance of wool, buttons, and station.
Skip the beat; touch easy the pulse,
sweat the gaze and quiver.
Lower deck into the dark.
Give way the cautious grip, push the torrid struggle, and wait.
Far aloft, stars unseen,
space falling, a thousand drops.
Secrets and hands —
that wild torrent of should not,
but we, meteors ourselves.
The Highland Prince
He and the place,
so worn; so wild.
Eye lines and the deep crags,
wind strapped and rain.
Vision, painted hazel and the earthen touch.
Green and blue flashes;
immortal rolling turf, and white swept dome.
A tenor utter in the gale, and carried,
while hands touch, and furs caress.
Up here, highlands.
The sun’s meddle, groping milky throats,
and fingers, leather, and golden-tipped curls —
crafted in gasses; smoothed by loughs.
Brandy tongue tousle,
and ancient shadow stones.
White and soft — so, so white.
The badge, the tag, the sensation of bleach and clean, and iron, concrete, and walls.
Invisible fate; metal maw and melting bones, the frantic panic of the chest.
Smoke, the roaring beast,
squealing steam, and the rattle of throats; buried ghosts.
Red and burning — so, so red.
The hand, the scalding palm, the sensation of seat and fear, sky, world, and centuries.
Charged ingot, betrayer and thief, the frightful hurry of the poisoned pulse.
Breathe, the eyes,
pulling color, the fear of that greater dark,
Dashed heart, and the robbery of time.
Panting breath, sickened touch, and perpetual, dangerous love.
Golden neck, jeweled flash,
such dirt and religious plots.
The sweeping sky, look loft and about,
blue and feathered white.
Yours, the knitted brow, kissed by cool green stalks,
and I, floating as in the doldrums, the endless spin of nowhere.
Water laps, but not a bird cries, or a step makes.
They’re coming, love, they’re coming.
Run the black mud and rattle the heart,
a kiss in the dark.
Golden loop, dusty curls,
steel and swords and death.
The Priest’s Son
Rolling, raspy tongue,
soaked in salty sweet, barreled amber.
Whiskey’d warrior; worn weaves,
and soft, the pelted shoulder.
Such severe darkness,
the lamenting and guarded notions; all that red-rimmed hazel.
Rough touch in the candle flicker,
fingertips and waists and teeth.
Upturned humor, scents of green and airy spaces.
Lead her over highlands and to loughs and within cold, lonely, and ancient stone.
Tartan soldier, bark your cry,
and into the mist and snow.
Oil slick and incense putrid;
cassock folds flutter aside the heel.
Blue wanting lingers in frigid mist,
and snow, soft secrets, muted confessions.
Throat, pull the white and to the wind,
lips touch, brush, and push.
Hearts, blushing heat, and palms,
spying stars, the world’s eyes.
Spiteful ritual, crumbling ruins, cracking paint.
Careless moments conjured by glances and smiles and trepidatious fingers.
Summon God, Father, if you must;
prayer lost to begging — unraveling devotion.
Breeze against my neck, my hair.
Spells and chants and incantations and all.
Cloth folded over cloth — careful, dutiful.
Guardian, watch me.
Shoulder blades and back — smooth relish of the breast.
Keep yourself lonely and fading.
Pretend me away and chant words,
but nakedness in the front,
a private love song.
Quiver and dance, forest —
Clapping leaves and tinkling moisture.
Sun beams shouldering through autumn branches,
and colors warm like tightly woven threads.
The trudge of silver rings, leader, and a nervous, guilty heart.
Toes hold fast the sinking soil,
blue meets green and beg apology and longing.
These bodies, furnaces of worn, complex expectation and doubt –
draw near the silk and cotton.
A gentle ripple — snowflake voices, anxious lips, calloused hands, the singing sword.
Cover us, forest, and quiver and dance.