Surgeon Her hands, delicate and deft, sterile and plastic. She works out all the kinks she thinks she sees in me, I play with my scabs as she plays my heart strings pulling melancholy effusions from the organ, and something different, utter, from another. Her operating tables rise round, she holds me down with wet weight. Caught rooms of convenience, in all the colors of stained glass, stained last my sunrise in new curtain cast enough days ago I do not remember its name. Besides, hers is a love built up on stolen nights, sequestered away from prying eyes, heart's hard to find in any place we've shared. So all those ships I set sailing sunsets, let from my thoughts and language, to pull down another night sunk, in the after-berth of a nod away, a failed kiss, and the sea in me fell dead and unmoving, though her eyes passed over no pull piloted my pool in plasmatic breakers and if my blood still stirs in her presence, I busy myself trying to remember all the things my heart already knows, as those are only the quakes of my coming apart.
Memento Mori Death does not come kissing for some, but instead rattles off nightmares to herald her coming; pulled from the mouths of mothers, she weaves them to tumble from her crown, to later lay in layers, over the eyes of the fevered dying so that they might look, finally, with longing, upon the face of the old crone beneath the hill of the setting sun. As she untangles herself from the mechanisms of the stopped clocks of their hearts, transcribes the lightning behind their eyes and sighs it into the aether. Where it might dance and assimilate into passing motes of busied light.
Domus Brother walked with sister and said, "Sister I see you, like to me." and sister said, "Brother I see you, like to me." And they walked shadow in shadow long into the fields of morning and watched the sun. They came after, at noon, to a tall and wizened tree, where sister said, "See brother, I can climb this old seed and hide from that stars high hour." and brother said, "Yes, and I will be here when you come down." and began digging into the shade of it's roots. And sister worried over, and balanced on, and explored every limb and changed according to her vantage. While brother guarded jealously every line where the earth bent away and breathed deep, and put out his tongue, to better taste the golden air. And so he stood so there she stayed, as evening climbed up in the east, and still he stood and so she stayed and in light of the moon whispered down, "Brother, I am hungry. Do you see that mouse in the high grass?" and brother said, "No, but I smell it." and sister said, "Would you go and bring it to me, only half, and you may have the other?" and brother said, "No." and, "I am sorry, but I cannot leave you alone." And his stomach protested loudly from between his teeth, but still he stood. The high moon, bright as a mothers eye, watched all and slowly in the dark hours, and late began an ominous blinking and the sky grew vocal and wept and howled over the field testing the high branches, so that sister grasped tight and her nails grew thin and sharp as she listened to the leaves sigh and rattle, while brothers post rose wet and muddy, so he circled and listened to the wind. When the cloud had passed, the moon had almost turned its light away and its inky ocean was lightening in deference to the sun. And sister said, "Brother, someone is coming towards us." and brother said, "I see them, tall as we are long, I see." And as the sky grew brighter the figure grew taller still but stopped. And brother, thinking to scare the thing, threw back his head and howled like the wind, and sister hissed like the leaves to help him, but still the creature stayed and said, "I am Man." and "Who are you so hungry?" and brother was quiet. "Then I will call you Dog. Come dog I have food." and Dog went, forgetting his sister and his place, and they turned away. And sister, torn, thought, "Now I am alone, and worse, brother may be in trouble." But she new her aspects had grown fearful and so she cut in nine parts her soul, growing smaller each time, and said to each of them, "Should anything happen to me, follow my trail in the grass. I will walk apart from brother and the creature so that you may find them quickly." and balling her hand she hid away carefully each sharp nail, and leaped from the tree and said, "Now I will be called cat." and followed her brother as the moon watched, a new sun finally broke over the horizon.
Alex is a poet from Johnson City, Tennessee. His poems cover a wide range of topics and strive to create a human narrative from the abstract and abiding forces of nature. He is not widely published but his work can be found in the archives of the Mockingbird (East Tennessee State’s literary journal) and in Gravel Magazine.