Crushing, bleak and break,
the mechanisms of my matter
are corroded by salt —
they are choked with sand.
Ripping, tear and rake,
the solutions of my mind
are dry from wind —
they are thieved by sun.
River, ocean and lake,
the brittle hull of my bones
arches for touch —
it is weathered by surf.
Yet I am tethered by the gull’s cry,
a wrinkled goodbye —
you are terrible in ropes and weaves and cuffs.
Hope pleads the darkness from the butcher’s eye,
lips feed a thousand lies —
I cannot conjure love enough or trust
before time turns our hearts to dust.
Black strands and white hands.
Moments drip, raindrops in time,
and stars glimmer for orphans, charting a course for home.
Exhalations in the drab and lonely night,
frosted breath, solitary, such secrets,
revealing cold mists, admissions, from summer to fall to winter again.
The truth as it ticks and burns and waits,
and is withheld.
Such a fleeting thing,
devoured by the maelstrom.
A lined brow, a river’s etching by the eyes,
but blue, blue, blue — lamenting lost light.
Something revealed, seen, known and cherished.
He is me,
even in this heat with cold lips,
the delicate tendrils of my heart stuccoed to the illusion.
Black strands and white hands.
The raindrops are gray ravens, their call resounding in his ears and brushing at his full cheeks with a feathery and woeful constant. He exhales spirit mists into the blue dawn and rests his tired spine against the slippery wooden bones of the hut’s exterior. There has been a sound in his mind since she left, something like a sigh, a whisper, or a wanting suggestion of desire on the wind, the kind that whistles through the trees and around mountain passes during the winter’s coldest chill.
He pushes his bare toes into the black earth and reaches, eyes closed, for the worn wooden lyre at his side. The sky’s weeping moistens and swells the soundbox and bridge, and like tears on lashes, it slips off the horsehair strings. He is a dark echo of Freyr, conjuring the day’s weeping with his existence, but revolving and drowning in this boggy domain so far in his mind from anything that resembles a shining sun.
There’s a feeling in the air. Something dense, full, and saturated with memory, sadness, and desire. A cutting wind whips around the wooden threshold and the cold assaults the flesh like thousands of pricking daggers. It’s tireless, unrelenting, and impossible to escape or ignore.
Cast the runes on the white furs. Cast the runes till the spirit stirs.
Orange shimmering flames spark and pop in the middle of the small room — their heat colliding with the damp freeze that pours into the hut through aged cracks and carefully aligned seams and beams. The sensation of snow is all around, despite the fire, fresh straw, and pelts that pack the space.
His deep exhale emits feathery apparitions, and with each breath, it’s as though the pieces of time that comprise him are wrestling to break free and realize a place somewhere in the immortal plane.
Cast the runes for the fighter lost. Cast the runes for the heart betossed.
Blood and flame,
quiet sparks, this wooden bed.
Gods know the quickening —
the eye, the hand, the wrist, wrapped in fine skin.
Flesh marks tracing bled pattern,
Horns and raven’s wings — cut me in silver.
Spread me with axes and shields,
all that fair and fierce longing.
Over and under, over and under,
weave braids and veins
and cut the heart, fighter.
A shield born of ash and mist.
Touch me again.
Oh, Red, I found you again,
in the night’s tale.
Warm palms, wool gloves,
magnetic magical lure of the throat;
An interception of the pressing dark, unconscious haze.
The flashing pearl revealed by upturned petal and sapphire gaze.
My gods, the panting;
heaving chest, anxious beat,
a tearless, tired eye.
Wanderer, discoverer, wanting change conjurer.
Promise on our song and wait again for the sun’s bed.
I swear with wringing hands,
despite the sky’s expanse and endless, agonizing time.
There’s a fearful beat that persists in my chest.
Squealing agony of the railway brakes,
unyielding stone and aging towers penetrate a pensive sky thick with weeping clouds.
All is drab, distended, dripping, and gray.
Mists draw from concrete pads and breath suspends tensely in the humid negative space.
Strangers pass, each with a downcast gaze, masked face.
Amid this and all,
the unseen sensation of a conjured aesthetic — a memory of something long completed.
There is a sound here that you made.
Your resonance tattooed like a perpetual autumnal bearing despite winter’s biting snows and summer’s cruel sun.
Don’t despair —
I can hear you, and your eyes look cold like mine.
Aye, lover, it’s been long.
Minutes piled beyond counting.
The revolving nights work waves —
crash against nets, pots, and so much rust.
Tanned hands turn silken gray loops;
but such bright auroras upturned at the sun,
and carven lines, rooted in ancestral deserts.
A soft call of morning stirs memory,
and the air’s easy caress touches high,
like fallen feathers and snow.
Packed away in my mind’s space,
he waits, ever-present,
wrapped in cords and sheets —
in whispering curtains and dancing morning dust.
The midnight moon conjures that invisible stranger,
outlined in pointed shapes, blue and heat,
glossy gray, and soft, wintered loops.
My guts, my skin, hopeless in the throat’s sound,
audible only in the sponge twist electricity of thought.
Sighs and a pounding pulse against the touchless hands — ethereal ecstasy beyond the dirt of the earth, oceans, and time.
Daylight banishes him to sweetened vapors, whispers, and sun streams,
and I am left physical — changed.
Open the door to the stars and lead me.
Jagged dark, the backdrop to moonlit points on restless waters.
Twinkle, lightyears away, our breath frosting in the void.
I am clawing for locks and keys and the respite of the shining light …
in your hollows,
in your center.
Rainbow auroras, the swipe swirl of fingers,
and lips whispering of faraway places in the sky.