The Tattoo

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,
soft heathen.
Horns and raven’s wings — cut me in silver.

Earth.

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.

The Wanderer

Oh, Red, I found you again,
in the night’s tale.
Warm palms, wool gloves,
magnetic magical lure of the throat;
imagined memory.
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.
You, please.
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.

Brooklyn

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.

The Memory

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;
sweating brow,
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.

Touchless

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.

The Freedom Fighter

Rain pearls touch and slough off leaves,
damp fog languishes and rolls.
The sodden tread nears, and breath;
crisp, fresh, upswept, and sharp.
Shining shapes upon flesh —
flashing, brilliant;
eyes like a breaking dawn, cresting sun.
Brush near the throat, the manic beating,
and sign to me of sands and terrors.
Open-lipped and torrid, seasoned by galaxies and dust, we resist.
This, in our secret silence,

dark star,

vibrating daydream.

The Scientist

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.

The First Lieutenant

A calm sway — bend and creak.
Descending steps, those salt-stained timbers;
searching eyes.
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.

The Christian

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.