Porchlight Confessions: A Sestina

How easily a snake’s tongue can flick
awake eyelashes once tangled in dreams
of canvas and pennies. I hate how he reeled
parasites within you, how now you wish for burns
or aberrations instead; any mark more tangible than a tear.
I always thought you carried too much prayer in your eyes,

I choked, on a night radiant with vodka soaked ice
we torched our lungs with cigarettes, burning
away whatever still survived in our finger tips.
Somewhere, you mused. Humans torn
just like you were fleeing those boa constrictor dreams,
and constructing golden new houses; to me you swore it real.

The next day I scourged mildew off old dishes and realized
my life never staged enough sadness for such hope. My tears
were just the collapse of tension or the disintegration of ice
shards. And either way, when I slept they only drifted to nightmares;
the reoccurring dreams of failure and the inability to ever flick
away your demons to a place where I could set them aflame

I remembered that night as we sat on the porch, heat
lightning glimmered and clung to the rim of the sky, flecks
of electrons seemed to climb the ladder you called heaven. I dreamed
the world was shifting to an inverted kingdom of eyes,
one staunch enough to detect voice trembles, ripped clothing, real
pain, strong enough to stitch together that miniscule, noiseless tear.

How do I pretend I’m not lost on this fucked up musical tour,
after you went missing in the crowd hours ago, when I’m scared your eyes
won’t reflect back at me the same way. I’ve seen them burn.
Just briefly did I let your breath carry my momentum–and I’m reeling
believing in god, gasping in that kidney punch of trust, flickering
in an amber light of brevity, and dreaming

Of vision
where burns
and tears
and flicks
of damaged eyes
aren’t real.


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