Pôr as cartas na mesa (Carta para Miguel)

          For Miguel in Sintra—

Splintered fingering of
its crookèd spine, silver
slivers of its ribbon
     registers mark passages of

moments without time, by-
gone this unkindness of
lines, blunts and blinds its rhymes,
     reprimands and rescinds until

its verses no longer
remind, bind this book of
easy lies to convince
     us we’re fine, // a meeting of wed

polarities melting
into split lips, moonlit
reflections broken by
     a troubling of twined minds coming

undone together, wet
leopard and hare staring,
shaking rain from locked eyes,
     terrifying what shame preys on

either’s pain inside from
behind, // pauses pregnant
with wailing assail them,
     variations of arrogance

which feigns orchestrated
silences, breath playing
against looking-glasses
     caustic liminal dramatics,

interjections causing
crossroads to turn from bends’
asphalt distance under-
     pinning their destinations, // to

focus instead on missed
connections in their twinned
glimpses’ pursuit of an
     intervention, like climbing a

burning tree in conquest,
thirsting to collect a
chalice of water left
     out in its branches to protest

irony’s fiery
malice, // through wounds wealth has
entered the body, and
     in this dance have we encountered

our death rebirth prefers,
renders requisite to
perform its great work, this
     turning over of new leaves that

we might put our cards on
the table and divine
what one guy signs and the
     other signifies to find life.