i. Wake

The beast reflected in
the face of heaven
mediates between passion and
possession, feeds on needing
to be obscene and
not herded, ‘The law
you must follow is
your heart’s will,’ exhorts
hard from behind its
gridiron’s gristle-charred bars this
imprisoned poet working weakened
from within his pen’s
excavation, seeing the skull
beneath the skin, between
creaking ribs on which
are written deathed sentences
breath breathed silenced, digging
the Self interrogating its
own intentions, questioning how
deep we must each
reach in our expedition’s
quest to find salvation
in our own sacraments,

                    ii. Sleeping

disquisition’s denial of no
use seeks only to
prove that, in its
dark-angled depths of diligent
pursuit, desire brought us
truth, leads us to
a serpent offering up
fruit, brings even still
its praxis escapist theorists
reject as too useful,
yet, to be followed
out this hell only
going through permits us
to exit at all,
how echoes fall when
swallowed by shadow, how
afterglow sparks haloes of
windows, fizzles neon nows
to pastel pasts tomorrows
close over with words
throats pore forth, sweat
eternal an urge vocals
glide as tears do

                    iii. Beasts

across a rolling of
eyes, purge from ice-knives
of glances a fevered
hunger growing molten daggers
which form in the
mouth and from wilderness
within goes forward to
ward from sight hunters
envious of this transformation
wish thirsted after them,
accidental men jaded into
the garden’s jaws acting
as if all this
tension was just sin
knowing illusions of innocence
were lust for living
as we all once
did originally lingering after
fight has disappeared, this
prayerful trust in hollow
ritual civilizing us until
its routine denial only
provokes our inner animal.