burlap flesh, its tired felt,
grew coarse around this reckoning.
The last few days were plastic lighters --
click and click a hundred times
and still no flame.
I'd breathe the lint of death and sneeze.
Margins of my smiles shrank,
their beaches balking at the tides.
Every little reach I made --
from fetching ice to smoothing out
the twisters in your cotton robe --
these bobbins of my busyness
just grated on your deafened ears.
Their spools were empty anyway.
You saw yourself as finished quilts.
you said the nights were getting long.
Their velvet wasn't elegant.
The evening stars were swastikas.
Lyrics traced the coming stone;
writing turned that grievous shade --
chiseling with pansy weapons
diamonds harder than the tool.
Your eyes became a crocus palm
that curled from the inside out.
"I've lived my springs -- I've had my loves --
the weather's turning logical."
watched your sockets in retreat,
deep abysses poignant as museum walls.
"I'm not afraid of graves," you said.
The rest of us thought ugly words,
could not drink the sour milk
from nipples of injustices.
Purple flinches of your veins
became a map of endings
pressing pedals down.
Dybbuks of a season's close
had entered us like termites build
an army on the rotted wood.