Give Me Anything But Hope


Tender of the embers, echo tears thrown
over bones no one picked to hold,
having chosen instead to gamble with ashes
which corroded this cavern when spit out

of the throat your fist holds close,
that left hand pharaonic as it receives
from my temple of flesh this religion’s
end, dicey as an expired dish served

to enemy guests, warm with caress careless
breath relentless as its dissipation expands, leaks
flashes of flickering health across these embraces
colour of dusk dissolving to night, grey

as unfiltered cigarette paper unfaltering as it
falls, wormwood dropped into box of tinder,
miserable only because it presents as predictable,
spills from a pox of lips to


call your grip its final kiss of
death, that figure of speech increasingly questionably
figurative, as life’s avenging angel with his
electric force flickers cinematic rivulets of spiral

spark strangling rings of whispers round firm
fingers each wears the way wrists do
bracelets of wasted scars your palm reads
as though wounds were torn tarot, cauterized

parts of charred charts puzzled over as
borders overlap pictures, remnants of assumptions of
threat which held no water, records of
wars that were never another interpreter’s intent,

interlopers worth more or less when this
evidence hints at resurrection, as art bleeds
beneath artifice what shards of silver shatter
we together gather then frame as each


crime’s obscene achievement, that this theft of
breath extinguishes only because its ritual accomplishes
what cannot be seen by anybody else,
at least not yet, that in killing

what Self of mine there exists now
nothing else left to know, you are
my oracle whose promise is that scorch
of silence my eyes witness your own

swallow, look through me to tomorrow, give
me anything but hope as my world’s
view goes from narrow to full, these
roles we play unashamed to belong at

once to faces as to an arsenal,
our masks forces of truth too personal
for two persons too used to persona
to pull off when faced with fame.