quarter past two

 

An owl-
eyed moon hangs
low like overripe fruit,
menacing the hot
horizon with her glowy
berth. Sweat
beads on the skin
of rooftops, perspiring
night-dreams of a dirt-nailed
city bent on creating
itself. The river drowses uneasily.
It smells
like jungle, and sex.

There is good mud here, and this
is no time for sleeping indoors.

Wild things
etch their names into wet
downtown cement, pile
old bricks into hillforts
from which they fling love
songs at one another
and think slyly of revolution.
Laughing, we
shake the moondust
out of wind-blown hair
and run to catch
the current,
kiss the river
goodnight.

in heat

sleepless.
stroke-handed. velvet.
to fall in love,
stickily.

lamplight drownings;
yellow fever dances.
proto-summer paints
sweat pearls down pinked
fore-heads, nascent
incandescence.
a River District swimming in
haze, dreaming in Decembers.
August-heavy; lethargic
swarm. enchantment.

nights with no fire-
works, only stars.

Shockoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My world
is the sinuous
curve of freeway
that flies under
glowering heavens
while herons wade
in cold waters;
the sound and
the peril
of stiletto on
stone
and the scented rhythm
of catcalls from yellow doorways.
Graffitied desperation
and the thunder of trains that run
beside old brick
under new construction
in a city that when
pressed clings
to its past as to a mother’s loving hand
but with the next
breath
dismisses her like
dog piss
on the master’s second-
best rug….

[My words
smell
of rust
and river-
rot
imbibed
not through the pores
of cortex
where
moments
become
memories but
through the primordial
pocketwatch
in the back of my
skull
telling me
when

to

breathe.]

In this land
of frozen locks
and thawed oblivions
where treachery and tolerance
sidle arm-in-arm
down cobblestoned alleys,

My voice
whistles a freedom song
to the same soundtrack
you fucked your girlfriend to last night;
rising broken-winged through the
dead smokestacks
as you haunt the canals
searching for loose virtue
or lost inspiration,
it will find you
undone.

Needle-pushers and nutmeg-peddlers,
you have been warned.