The Haunting

The haunting,
over wood-rimmed spectacles,
of his eyes,

    (that insolence,
    that gesture
    that scrapes out of mud
    his defiance)

rapt with malice,
came too late to my twisted soul.
Is it my hope
that makes me so ashamed
of him?
It is my mouth,
scraped out of mud,
I’m so afraid of.

The arm’s the worst,
the fingers of dust and filigree,
the sizzling hands

    (that aridity
    drips poison,
    stops mud caking
    on my lips)

filling my wounds
with hot venom hissing like words.
Is the water
capillating from some stone
my heart’s blood?
It is the dust,
sifting to my face,
that I loathe.

The wooden-ness,
cross-pieced and spectral,
of his splintered face

    (when he looks down,
    eyes like pitch,
    he hurtles his way
    insideward)

holds his eyes
where they ought to be but aren’t.
Is that my name
cross-stitched to the
edge of death?
It is kindness
that grieves, then howls
my name.

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