We resemble each other like two drops of wept water
cast together, but we throw out different reflections
than the other; shadows speaking as if we inhabit
the same picture, misunderstood masters bleeding colour.
Truth burns down our throats like black cognac swallowed the wrong way:
too early, too true, too damned much to say—spoiling perfect
mouths their alibis in oiled strokes, soiling out of perfect
suits our bodies of work, soaked; making worthless our water
drawn from our cracked hands, like the card of audacity way
too soon, making smooth and precocious royal reflections
leaving us, facing each other in tombs silence colours
evening hues—we are those rooms no one wants to inhabit.
Freed, uninhibited—as much in time as in habit—
the local witch, she trims the wicks, candles our ears, perfects
a votive pitch, and darkens her lair with dirges colour
itself mourns. Her wails summon us closer to the water
filling her earthen floor; among the pit swim reflections
the damp scent of which circles us, spinning in such a way
that an old potter’s wheel would: softening us the same way
life itself melts to insignificance; to inhabit
fading ash like cigarettes inhaling death. Reflections
sent through the ether crash into us—Now, she says, perfect!
Tramontana, older than existence, tongues the water;
bent in, kissing it, laughing louder than wind, she colours
our situation with solemn words of tragic colour—
a tapestry of midnight prayer ripped out of us the way
dawn herself tickles sleep with her torn hair. On the water,
the witch’s breath ripples images that we inhabit:
a double-portrait of storms coming together, so perfect.
This is you, Tramontana hisses, and your reflections.
Witnesses to our Selves, we rise, wade in their reflections,
trample skepticism, and face our souls’ companions. Colour
conjures from our cheeks the palest wind, gusting blush perfect
to kill what we realize has been love blown the wrong way.
Two crystal hearts chipped in their corner, what we inhabit
fills not with light, but the dusk of the muddiest water
when we drink of stars their death, and do not wash it away.
This is why, the ancient witch whispers, flesh you inhabit
itches after fame; why we think tastes sweeter, strange water.