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Page 9


Poems about death and dark love poetry are listed on the index of poems

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Poems of dark love
In my virgin days
When this world was wild
And my aspirations
Fever hot,
Defiant of compass,
Disdainful of maps,
I scorned the wind,
And brazenly hurled myself
Into the vortex
Of my youthful visions
With impunity--
Or so I thought.

What a painful view
Taunts me now:
An unyielding ocean
Pounding its chest,
Where once my ship
Had blithely sailed;

I have salvaged
A clump of sadness,
Like spoiled honey
Solidified in a jar,
While under my feet
Lie broken shells--
Remnants of what was,
And might have been;

Denied the horizon,
Held to account
By a sneering sun,
Lost in the driftwood
Of this desolate shore,
I retreat like a snail
Into the calcified
Memories of myself;

Reluctantly, I confess,
An impetuous flame
Still burns my cheeks,
Whenever my thoughts
Plummet backwards
To that singular day,
When the maple trees
Blazed so vermillion,
And that jasmine letter
Like a ghost arrived;

Words almost cryptic,
Yet deftly revealing,
Flickering with hope,
Infested with doubt--
I devoured them all,
Like a starving child;

Yes, I read it over and over,
Until I sobbed,
And cursed aloud,
Seeking certainty
Where none could be found;
I heard the sound,
Of my hollow lies,
Falsely witnessed
My fears reshaped
Into prudent sighs,
Convinced myself:

All love was death,
Salvation, the sky;

With a tiny twitch
Of shame and pride
I secretly tucked
Her telegraphic heart
Beneath some socks
In the back corner
Of a stuffy drawer.

poems of struggle
Like ubiquitous window glass
Until suddenly it
Slivers cutting into your soul,
Nothing making sense--

In some kind of liquid
Mirror flash
Thinner than a thought,
Abyss dreamer
Grabbing at anything
Flying by
That smells of Hope.

poems of struggle
If I had known this being who resides
within me now,
perhaps I wouldn't have done it at all,
but I was still in metamorphosis
back then.

In the intimacy of the dim darkroom
where he kept the small brown bottles,
labels cryptic, faded,
finger on the skull and crossbones,
he admonished:
potassium cyanide was too lethal
in young and inexperienced hands.

I never questioned him on this point:
dry cleaning fluid could do the job
almost as well.

Their muscular shoulders resisted
the squeeze of thumb and forefinger
as they were gingerly introduced
to the wide mouthed mayonnaise jar
with a cushion of absorbent cotton
on the bottom--
lid clamped down tight.

The rate at which the ether seeped
into their plump furred bodies was
disconcertingly slow--
their beautiful scales rubbing off
like dirty dandruff,
sticking against the concave glass,
spitefully disfiguring themselves
until exhausted,
surrendering what little was left.

Unlike the Fritillaries and Coppers,
these night flying mammoths--
Sphinxes and Cecropias and Lunas--
I vexed, always took too long.

Sometimes a little while later,
to my chagrin,
while their open-spread cloaks
were pinned on boards to dry,
they'd reawake.

Too far committed--disgust and
pity too much alike, I'd decide
their fate and put them back in
and uneasily stand my ground
in this entomological undertaking
while they pulsed and heaved
to a second round of anesthetic--
till they drifted for good
into an everlasting sleep.

Once, as a sort of caring gesture,
I suppose,
though I never knew
what he deeply felt,
he showed me how their struggle
could be curtailed
with a precise and swift injection
of a milky soporific
into their tiny hearts--
if such a merciful place existed.

The satisfaction I felt back then,
now rather hard to recall,
though some things still remain vivid:
pushing hard against thorax,
just off centre,
in accordance with standard protocol,
at first briefly meeting resistance,
but then with a silent pop
the surgical needle
slid though softer pulp;
labels arranged at uniform heights,
their crucified bodies fixed
in orderly fashion
on a bed of cork
and preserved with naphthalene
in glass-topped cases built to withstand
the abuse of time--
yet despite my efforts to eternalize
they all eventually crumbled.

I remembered all this years later
in a world not much wiser,
where solutions had advanced
to a level not much higher,
as I stood by, without recourse,
and watched
his stertorous breathing,
the strange body still fluttering
under the woolen blanket--
the evasive spirit already gone.

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