Variegated

In variegated swirls of innocence
She flashed across a hundred different brains;
Her words, so many fine-tuned instruments
To bring to life the latest fashion pains

Of many different patterns she knew all;
But all she knew she was but loth to share –
To stand and laugh at loathsome mercy’s fall
And point, in hopes that others, too, would stare

By colors torn directly from the press
Of new wine in the skins of wrinkled old,
She taxed the new pariah’s wickedness
And left fine statues broken, in the cold —

With all the venom she can call to hand
She’ll ban simplicity from every land

Smothered Fire

When love becomes a smothered fire,
The heat and smoke are trapped inside;
As here, contained within ourselves,
Desire and poison, both, go unremarked upon

The dance we dance is formal now:
You know your steps and I know mine.
We each perform our silent parts,
But how we leave the floor with grace, I couldn’t say

The music we once heard is gone,
There’s no one else left on the floor;
Just you, and I, these dishes, and
A series of banal cliches we share, politely

The dance that is a dinnertime;
Our words, wet blankets on the fire
Of what was once spontaneous, and new —

The ritual of rinsing off the plates that we just used,
The empty glasses stored away to clean another day,
Our food, detritus scraped into a bag –

As after every dance, there’s someone
Has to turn the lights off

Who just might catch
The last slight glow
Of smothered fire

three blue candles

three blue candles in a row
where she knew she shouldn’t go
in a room of closed desire
smoke now circles ever higher

lying thoughtlessly has crept
promises have not been kept
but she does not care somehow
in the feeling she has now

for the burning justifies
broken vows and sequent lies
as she bobs her pliant head
three blue candles by the bed