44

{ Ananke }

day exhales,

deep from her belly as she sighs,

her gentle breath

sweeps across the grass,

ushering in the night,

tickles the gossamer wings of young maids on a nearby swing,

they giggle and writhe with glee.

summer leaves rustle impatiently —

wink in my direction.

bluebirds and robins whistle down stream,

whispering to each other between melodies,

a secret from another place,

songs of innocence

and of experience

tease my hair and kiss my cheeks

with the affection of tender moments that were never mine,

calling out to be remembered,

in exchange for more time.

fireflies don their evening garments,

the sun, sinking behind clouds,

oozes oil painted rose petals,

sweet sounds of honey

drip, drip, drip

into the wind and rush along its rivers.

a rogue wave subsumes the glow of evening.

how full of stars was the world that night—

open arms of eternal summer

stretched out to catch me just in time;

how kind was destiny that night.

[ photo: Harri Peccinotti, 1969 ]

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43

{ Shameless }

kneeling on a dead man’s house,

clouds massed together over the tall trees,

replete with warm tears.

he left one day and never said why…

reflecting.

a smile that

expected nothing from the world,

eyes that sought not happiness,

yet somehow

managed to exude both.

subtle in tone and articulation—

i’ve always admired that quality.

mumbling under my breath.

i’m not sure you were content,

but if you weren’t,

i blame myself.

flooded by guilt

gushing forth,

pouring over the dam—

as if dying
were a shameful act.

rising abruptly from my position,

feeling sick and pensive.

you’re getting to be
an old lady, kiddo,

what are you gonna’ do?

somehow, i always manage to think of myself.

avarice and love:

the same instinct that has two names.

Photo: @marcosguinoza

36

{ chiaroscuro }

i recognize them all,

the undesirables,

the windows to my soul.

round and round they go,

somewhere down

in that place—

locked inside a dream

within a dream—

untouched and untouchable.

cloaked in darkness and

by the light of the moon,

shadows,

settle around my heart—

dreadfully gray, diaphanous waves

drifting and swirling

like leisurely cigarette smoke

around my heart,

whispering something

indecipherable.

a thick,

sticky voice,

a redolent voice,

echos forever

in that place, where

space and time are distorted,

where nothing,

not even light, can escape,

where my devil has been long caged.

beautiful, annihilating

darkness there and nothing more—

that’s my madness.

i know there are no honest people,

only better liars,

but a dream never lies,

madness never lies.

[ photo: ‘The Remembrances of the Soul’ by photographer Michael Vincent Manalo ]

32

{ amnesia }

the past is never forgotten—

mistakes, failures, tragedies

in particular,

never leave you.

you hide them away,

in the darkest corners of

regret, and

cement them there,

where they rot and

spoil the soil of

the heart, and

pollute the waters of the soul so that

nothing new can grow,

except the festering

corpses of dreams and aspirations.

you begin to see the past

as a lifelong affliction that

the mind must bear—

a kind of punishment.

no matter how deeply

you may yearn to change and

create,

the heart and soul have been

paved over, and

there are no cracks in

the cement.

you begin to see

all life as

punishment, and

the past as an immovable barrier—

you stop trying to change anything,

stop trying to create anything,

and stop trying to grow,

hoping to escape from the

painful memories that torment you by

recoiling from life entirely, and

retreating

into isolation, because

being alone is a good disguise, and

a good place to hide.

meanwhile,

the water level is rising and

you’re gasping for air.

if only

you could forget.

[ photo: photo by Lara Zankoul ]