CHAMBER 20

CHAMBER 20

Bullets and Light

I am adrift tonight
as though a privilege denied
is the passageway
to keep body and soul together.
You have kept so much at bay
I wonder if your enchantment
is to tame passion.
Cornered by your savage artillery
you sling your bullets like schools of fish
darting to a feast,
and I surge ahead tired of being the food.
When I look back
I can see fragments of you
hiding in the underbrush,
stubborn remnants of your vanished heart.
I can still love them.
I can still hold their fragile nerves
clustered with a welder’s tongue
seething light as pure as any ever beheld.

Perhaps I drift away
because of the chasm I see.
Bullets and light.
How strange bedfellows can be.
But you will never confess
nor shed your doubt of me.
I will always remain an enigma hurling itself
like litter across your absolute path.
A sudden shaft of light
that begets a deep shadow
that temporarily blinds.

Hope-stirred eyes have always sought to steal
you from the simian nature
that collects at your feet
and pulls at you like derelict children.
My unearthly hunger drew me away from you,
even against my will, or at least my conscious will.
There was always something calculating
the distance between us.
Some cosmic abacus shuffling sums
of bullets and light
looking for the ledger’s balance,
but never quite locating its exact frequency.

Nature of Angels

Midnight in the desert and all is well.
I told myself so and so it is,
or it is not,
I haven’t quite decided yet.
Never mind the coyotes’ howl or
the shrinking light.
Holiness claims my tired eyes
as I return the stare of stars.
They seem restless, but maybe they’re
just ink blots and I’m the one
who’s really restless.

There is something here that repeals me.
In its abundance I am absent.
So I shouted at the desert spirits,
tell me your secrets
or I will tell you my sorrows.

The spirits lined up quickly then.
Wings fluttering.
Hearts astir.
I heard many voices become one
and it spoke to the leafless sky
as a tenet to earth.

We hold no secrets.
We are simply windows to your future.
Which is now and which is then
is the question we answer.
But you ask the question.
If there is a secret we hold
it is nothing emboldened by words
or we would commonly speak.

I turned to the voice,
what wisdom is there in that?
If words can’t express your secret wisdom,
then I am deaf and you are mute and we are blind.
At least I can speak my sorrows.

Again the wings fluttered
and the voices stirred
hoping the sorrow would not spill
like blood upon the desert.

But there were no more sounds
save the coyote and the owl.
And then a strange resolution suffused my sight.
I felt a presence like an enormous angel
carved of stone was placed behind me.
I couldn’t turn for fear its loss would spill my sorrow.
But the swelling presence was too powerful to ignore
so I turned around to confront it,
and there stood a trickster coyote
looking at me with glass eyes
painting my fire, sniffing my fear,
and drawing my sorrow away in intimacy.
And I understood the nature of angels.

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