Cenotaph

I let the inches creep along the surface
Where once my hand, beside your own, was soft
And slowly did decisions make their purchase
And callouses were made
When rivers deep I chose to wade
And harder still, they soon became when finally crossed

In time the inches crept and skin was stolen
And turned into this carapace of stone
That hid the streaming tears of eyes now swollen
For all the lonely steps
Where racing hearts had finally crept
Until a statue stood to mark an empty home

And maybe hopeful eyes created yearning
And dreamed a day where you returned to me
And crossed the deserts long and oceans churning
With wishes in your palms
To give as whispers of your alms
So that tomorrow was echoed memory

Where curled into my arms, you chose to slumber
And I, but made of stone, began to weep
For though my skin had long been turned to umber
And stoic now, my face
It softened still in your embrace
For there within, a heart remained for you to keep

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Frame

I cover my ears when you cover your eyes
With life-faded canvas that seems to retain
Some semblance of what grew, and turned into flies
And left us all spinning the same
Such a shame
But it’s more than a lesson of blame

I wring out the burden of these wretched rags
Like vases of flowers that died being vain
Where silences sound through the now stretching crags
And wound around what was profane
And became
Nothing more than a funeral lane

New phantoms I spoke to when silent you went
Your finger hard pressed to your lips to proclaim
Another new secret that still goes unsent
In a flask that I savor and name
Like a flame
That I feed so you won’t see me wane

I open my eyes when you open your ears
With a shift of perception to grant me the same
In slow-burning fashion that none seem to hear
Am I looking beyond the disdain
To explain
Why the devil is just out of frame

Quiet

The silent place where shadows sift
Through dust of ours in caverns clearly sealed
Where the motes of meaning seem to settle less than drift
As if defiant of the thoughts they might reveal

With eyes upon a picture blank
Where once, I could have sworn, an image was
Seems now an empty ocean, all the memories have sank
As if the sun into the night – it always does

The places left to see are lost
Beneath the precipice of what’s to come
For waves or recollection are now wearing sheets of frost
Until the many roads reduce to only some

With knuckles white as winter storms
Where nothing seems to indicate a choice
So do I sit in silence, as I seem to listen for
A past reminder of your once forgiving voice

Supplication

Paltry were the hands of mine
When offering the coins of weathered bounty
As if to stop the flowing time
And let the eyes of others finally count me

Once among the ones who came before
And once among the ones who should have been
Another time for those who see the world as closing doors
But never for the ones devoid of sin

Grateful were the offerings
I gave as if a tithe of burning solace
To smolder while the coffer brings
Another cold reminder you were flawless

More than any brush could ever paint
And more than any song could ever sing
And far above and far away from any known constraint
Of anything this world could ever bring

Hands of mine were trembling
When pressed together asking for salvation
For you were clouds assembling
And I alone in deserts of temptation

Asking for a single drop of rain
Begging for a sign to see me through
Swearing on my heart to never say your name again
And knowing it’s a lie I’ve given true

Quell

Was there a spell ever cast
Or a series of words to instill
Within moments of mine
Something wholly sublime
Or is hell – to the last –
All the truth that I’m destined to feel?

What did the efforts provide
When momentum was suddenly strained
And the sun I beheld
Gave the proof that I failed
And so looking inside
Did I wonder, “What have I attained?”

Seeking a secret to quell
What had faltered and finally met
With the lowest of lows
An obsession that grows
Under smiles and veils
Like a harlequin mask of regret

So did the magic disperse
Like the ashes I needlessly clutch
In the hands of a man
Who cannot understand
That he’s seeking a curse
So this life merely shows him as much

Snow

Depression settles in
Like it’s sediment and sin
So does penitence recind
When the liniments of then
Are itinerant and thin
Not a semblance of a grin
While my innocence is penned
By the venom of the end

And where am I to go
When the terror and the woe
That the mirror ever shows
Ever clearer as the foe
Draws me nearer when I sow
All the error I bestow
It’ll bury me below
In a barrier of snow