Apéritif ices this loser’s game
whose gruesome sonata recapitulates,
accommodates variations, ashen, shared.
Alone, under pretense of urgent pretending,
I wipe condensation of repeating lines
upon lines, yours and mine dancing in place,
gazing out-of-time -- time forsaken,
time after time --
These, our best lines.
Scrape and scrape tongue off tongue
whose rough grime leaves behind nothing
but pouring out of our throat
recycling wasted time’s most tantalizing lines.
Fright is staged, licking flame
fools no alarm, nor moan of marionettes
hanging back in glassy-eyed climax.
Tender theatre yells back
while we stick in tinder box paste,
ringing gruel is all I taste in your mouth ablaze.
epiphanies on our bluing lips.
Pick up and put down,
set ‘em up and knock ‘em domino,
ten thousand days standing tall, fall
once moistened by Erinyes’ kiss --
don’t be ascending, be
wet and wailing in sweetest woe.
Swallow glances half-emptied of blood, half-full of bile:
pay and swear, strike the match and forget
consummating with heaven and hell.
Left in limbo to watch features fizzle with dead amazement
under beacons bubbling; bubble, glass, bubble,
our trouble is doubled,
this turmoil that toils so low
caressed by amusement, caught in promising undertow
whose promises recite their lines and, for a time, please
until left checked by pocket conspiracies.