I am an anthology of funeral bells, tolling the treaty of a limestone lineage of longing. A lost prophet sleeps inside me, a beast awaiting to ransack the garden and scatter the ashes of sweet penelope’s yarn, an endless thread of love, the silk worm’s late summer dream. Maybe everything is as it should be. Your hand teaching my hand the sacred language of whispered desires. My numbness a soft drink, to be sipped briefly before being upended into the river.

On cold evenings the sky is a bitter reflection of our golden-day haunts. Treasure chests crawling with maggots and synapses smeared on old church windows. You are a church window. Stained with the blood of a hundred rainbows, holy as the departing dawn and fallen-star-fragile. Is it thunder that you seek? Is it the winter’s warped light that sleeps in your ivory-shaft eyes? I want to kiss you underwater, drenched in a penumbra of corals, where we are the only wandering things. Our bones fish-bait, our lungs sea-drunk and winded up like tinker toys. Your kisses canticles for the seductive deep,
brimming like gold or angry rain from your light-up lips.

So maybe we are not shatter resistant, maybe bullets chafe our skins and the sun wears a sheen that rips off our cheeks. There is a place somewhere beyond your day dream demolition and my midnight heartfail where the sands sing of pyramids that fell, like starved men, to their dusty knees, somewhere the moon opens its crystal cave of a mouth up wide and swallows us whole and the waters are a forever blue. And perhaps, we could settle there. Your reverence an echo drawn out like a ghost whose always had trouble saying goodbye, my body becoming a song that’s always been sung a little off-key. Our bones will become fractured constellations. And we will be sacred as long as you promise me that we are still alive, somewhere, in the back of the sky’s mind, in the ice water white the river brings.

—  The Martyr’s Love Song || j.r