If you need forgiven you'll steal again.
We did and sold for gain--yet wept
As if an eye could see, as if…
She only trusted herself in sleep…
Rip the map, dream.
Waking, and banished from safety,
She arrived at the gate;
The wrong man still swung
From a senator's bought noose.
Woman who stole with me
if you find this
allow for my deceit
and decipher the code
as I taught you.
I traveled far to find the wise man
And came upon him in the oak forest
Half naked and playing with sticks,
Nibbling a honeycomb.
What should I do to claim greatness?"
"You do not want greatness,
You want fame and women."
"I can't disagree," I admitted.
"Then simply give the fools what they want."
That sounded easy enough.
"And what do they want?"
And though nearly hairless
Stroked an imaginary beard.
"Everything!" he roared, brandishing a stick.
"But since that is not yours to give…"
A pause fell for hours.
When he began a different voice came,
Frightening and beautiful.
"Do not underestimate
The power of the mother, young fool.
One in ten thousand
Grow to become anything
Deserving the name human.
The rest of us, well…"
He held the honeycomb up to me,
His face turned soft,
The oak leaves waved
And I grew weightless with sorrow.
"Children do love their sweets," he said.
Last night we got ice cream
I want it to be winter
I want to watch TV I want to watch a movie please
Don't chase cats with my bike
Yes yes mother father has brown hair
Today we went to the library
By the picture books sister gave me kisses
I miss Violet
Why do big boot men wear beards?
Why don't the women want them?
One thing I know
I don't like apples &
The world is wonderful
You who undeceived me that night,
Suppose I'm yours (yes, yes) to hold.
But remember, or do not forget,
How they made us master maths of despair,
Forced on us fools, jailed to a chair,
Saying here are the rules,
Pretend that you care.
We learned to secretly smile instead
But the times I've most missed
Among their numbers and snares
Were those which crept in while sharing a head
When you and I kissed
alone in fate's bed.
They pranced a sloping course,
Crowns uncovered, silver hidden,
The way jays fly north or dancers
Converge across dark rooms.
And in that last dawn before April
Urged itself into strawberries
She broke fast on cool dewed moss,
Listening to him breathe.
A path laid over and again,
Out far enough to fling them
Past those gold-woke, aching hills.
As my Jezebel always said
When she would open it in bed,
"There's never been a better time
Not to fall in love with dying."
Then sinking rubies in the moors
She'd lovingly conduct her wars
And train these artless lips to spill
The sighs which with a gaze she'd kill.
Murder never meant so much
To one like me, so starved of touch.
Yet our bed keeps an only me:
Quick-Death deals in spades, you see.
We may find it was all a test
To see which emptiness holds best.
A feeling ends but never parts
From open chests…or open hearts.
Nathan Woods, editor/overlord