Poetry - Dropping Balm, The Absinthe Literary Review

by Robert P. Beveridge


You take her fingers
into your mouth,
tongue flicks over them
a viper, pink and quick.

Never say
this did not excite you.
Never say
your breath did not go ragged,
twin to hers, and shiver
in delight.

Never say
you did not feel the pricks
of fingernails that raised
waning gibbous moons of blood
on palms.
Never say
you do not like it.


The phone rears, snaps
at my hand.
No, it doesn't, it sits
content in its
overwhelming silence.

Death the Drummer

And so it was
the magnesium burn of morning
emptied itself, long and deep,

into the dampness
of afternoon.

Suicide was a shadow:
it stood, listened,
without comment or jurisdiction.

This slouching beast that is you,
this slouching beast that is me,
it talked and drank and followed tourists with cameras
and documented the movements of nephilim.

I could not look over at the shadow in the corner
with his razors and smoke
without seeing the mirror you held up
to check your features, see
if your solidity was still viable,

your vitality still in a state of flux.

You are the one whose mornings echo the pounding
of insistent doors,
you are the one whose cadence takes its fill
of magnesium and exudes that light,

You are the one whose shapeless grays and starless browns
echo the tangibility of longing fingers.

Encased in that sweetness I come home and find
the afternoon has overtaken you,
the burn pushed away
like a quarantined malamute,
not breathing, not breathing again.


2003 ALR

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