Bald & Chained

                    i. In Good Times and in Bad

First fruits on an old altar,
     here we are, watching our breath
     dance with swords of frost catching
     us en garde, jackets torn, boots
     filled with stones of thunder-rolled
     snow, our wrists and necks bruised by
     their exposure to the quick,
     cruel chill of a forest
     clearing nearing the absurd,
     its dead undergrowth over-
     flowing with a junkyard’s burned-
     out fauna, Faustian
     engines grinning as we twist

through them, someone else’s debts
     pursuing us with a ghost’s
     relentless whispers, trailing
     after us in the darkness
     as we offer our efforts
     to recover from under
     a rusted car, a torched four-
     door sedan coloured worse by
     winter with a sudden hurt
     of splinters, of wincing paint,
     pointing out its battle-scars
     with withered fingers, weather
     exploiting this car’s wounds road-

                    ii. In Sickness and in Health

salt found its sharp way into
     before we were born, beneath
     the crib of its carriage where
     opportunistic roots twist
     with spent motor-oil’s oyster-
     slick kiss into its echo
     of what once were its ribs, we
     bend our knees like those decade-
     chewed tubes and reach deep where we
     cannot see, groping each through
     a messy tragedy of
     debris, ravenous as fiends,
     both eager to separate

fast the chaos from the crash,
     the red from the flesh, the blush
     from the ruthlessness of brash
     truthfulness, smug as devout
     heretics with sin-chapped lips
     big enough to swallow us
     whole, our wicked appetites
     for danger tame compared with
     what we retrieve from under
     her wind-torn skirt, the old girl,
     that ’62 Impala
     some cavalier filled with chicks
     he impaled before wrapping

                    iii. Death Does Its Part

his leftovers in plastic,
     leaving them here, laid beneath
     the tread of missing wheels, where
     her hold’s sunken floor sits on
     the horde, a cache of broken
     hearts beaten by promises
     into scorched earth, bleeding seeds
     of unseen tears, waiting to
     be restored, here we dig, two
     lovers in mid-December,
     trying to make sense of it
     all, sighing as we seek to
     make tangible before night-

fall, the silenced plight of some
     bold serial seducer’s
     suitors, those babes to the myth
     of romance enslaved, by its
     lie cradled, hoping to take
     from his victims the cure for
     passion’s allure, this crippling
     affliction so desolate
     and indiscriminate in
     leaving its fable’s faithful
     adherents all bald and chained,
     nearing but never reaching
     the chase’s end, breaking down.