Finding a River in the Flood

                    i. By Turning of the Soil

                    Sundown’s too cold for crowns,
shedding my own for a moment,
how shallow ground opens
its grimace slit to let in rust
of crushed rays, dreams smiling
dirty and discreet, impure and
unclean as virgin births
brought forth by force, by after-hours
amateurs armed with blunt,

                    pilfered cafeteria forks
                                        tarnished and discarded

                    for having pierced deep, taken, and
eaten too big a piece
of someone else’s birthday cake,
its weight like feigned greatness,
burdensome as a rake, stubborn
as fading fame when put
to work, dirt scattered to world’s end
by some gluttonous gust
of broken wind, bent like a curled

                                        fist of omens, thrusting
                    its commotion of ill portents

                    into a pit devoid
of light, importance, or shame, its
ribs echoing a sky
bereft of the moon’s fullness, or
a whale’s course starved of an
ocean, no ancestor’s veins too
distant to occupy,
no disconnected net of time
cast too broad or too wide,

                    ii. By Turning of the Riddle

                    no horizon too high to walk
to call up what thoughts I
throw down when, for far too long, we
haven’t talked, how finding
a river in the flood is what
your wisdom’s pool offered
my plight just before it dried up,
that living, you’d said then,
isn’t living at all, even

                                        if you’ve got life by its
                    balls, that when the Devil comes and

                    calls for his due, fools like
me had better come through, because
when he does, it’s only
ever (to) collect, that raising
so much hell troubles souls
who, instead of giving a fuck,
close their hearts and open
their tempestuous mouths, floodgates
like an inferno’s own

                    they let swallow them up with flames,
                                        so for those whose tired bones,

                    like my own, have run laps around
time’s devouring circle,
know I share in your same struggle,
too proud to be mortal,
too loud to be humbled by words
uttered by another,
born into turmoil as the sparks
fly heavenward, burning
away all scruples and morals.