You’ve shown up…well, your true colors have
in wild-thrash-hurled, paint-vile-ent words,
sword-tongue-rash-cut strokes pretend to be brushes,
on this present canvas fouled in yesterday’s deathstyle…
fevers, phantoms, ghosts (the spectacles on your nose)
distorting memory, warping past-tents days
with present-tense poison wounds.
And you! Pretender!
you sit on that shipwreck with hemlock twig narratives illusory
and call them olive branches, story-straighteners, record-revealers!
You almost had me,
until I noticed those web feet and knew
you were just a garbage scow gull and not
the promised dove of rest, release, redemption.
Your raucous cries rapacious echo wildly,
and you wheel and spin so hungry and flap so furious
over those bones there, that ship run aground at last
and you eager to get at that dead garbage and feed,
you so careful to sing when doves cry (you imagine)
but just managing a greedy gull’s squawk (or parrot).
I am over here…floating…under this graceful sail
full of fresh wind, faint, feathery, but substantial
(at last, transubstantiated and become living flesh),
and I see them…those webbed feet, those clay feet
dirty with aggression, aggrandizement, anguish…
and I wish I could fall at them,
those webbed feet, sobbing, and wash them
with my tears and dry them with my hair.