Regret

In the ear of one Goddess
There is a hidden cave,
And there within as men confess
The ground is golden paved.

I left a doubloon on the lip
Where cave and daylight met,
And on departing, memory slips,
Redeemed by one regret.

Seven Abysses

Should you go to descend
Those infamous seven abysses,
Beware of the bones you’ll find.
I am not one for spelunking
In karst dolomites of my mind.

Endless mineshaft’s metal cage,
Canaries for the gasses;
From Flemish sellers
Brought those birds, sold by
Old oblast-men with molasses.

Rattling seven strata through,
No safety gear, no time for fear,
Down to a sunken pool;
Its secret waves will gently spool:
Thoughts are born in here.

Arriving in your evening light,
Sunsets seen renewed!
There’s no such thing as death
I said, collapsed on our bed
In a miner’s welfare cottage.

Night Owl

Thank you for your photograph,
Passport-sized, white frame,
On the reverse side in red ink
You wrote your name and
Number. The image I received
On the spine of a silently
Howling owl in a dream
Last night I placed beneath
My pillow and in a dream
Within a dream you emerged
From the portrait large as life,
Your lipstick as red as the ink,
A deep red, deep as blood in
The whales stampeding through
The caves of my sleep searching
For their calves already hauled
Onto the harpoon-stationed
Entrail-made slippery deck
Of hail-harried vessels in
The steep Pacific breaches.

You gestured to me not to speak,
Finger over your lips and I was
Transfixed. I watched you
Carefully, devotedly, as you fell
Asleep in a red dress, your blonde
Hair falling over your eyelids and
Your nostrils and I reached to
Brush those beautiful strands away
When your mouth opened and
An alarm fell out and I woke
Sweating, and drowning, as
A refuse collection vehicle
Reversed outside my apartment.