Light Kindled in the Liquor of a Love Looking for Another Victim

Disappear into the winter darkness of
ignored prayer, where, as grey tinges
edges of day’s endpapers, this ache

eats at curling pages as if
dusk were what a cigarette was
before singed to its bitter tip,

in a fit, with unfiltered ambivalence,
crumbling in on itself, ashing out,
blackening text to unintelligible snow, blanketing

in blankening exposure what breath withers,
every gasp tragic as bad weather
unasked for, tempestuous untethering from composure,

in a gesture, what evidence from
its crime this gust gathers only
to dismember, to splinter all calm

to particles dust swallows as its
own, so decay goes, taking within
its throes those embracing ruin, ruins

themselves, ruinous fools, decaying demagogues decadent
as though going out when high
deprives their flickering souls having to

know inevitable lows, having to withstand
withheld love, the cost to old
guardians of lost thrones establishing monuments

among dirt, disturbing scorched earth where
foundations revealed regale gawkers with tales
of walls which fell before this

temple’s worth could afford pilgrims warnings
of its allure’s worst curse, that
they who tarry here bury where

an altar once stood what foot
pulled from their mouth encourages coals
to scourge tongues across the wet

velvet carpets of which did walk
such filthy talk as to rip
from breasts beaten hearts being so

blasphemous burned up, but what better
way to ignite what blaze alights
a sinner’s path toward night’s gates,

those jaws at which our critics
await, baited as everyone of us
has been since the beginning, to

accept what damage we inflict as
necessary since nothing matters more than
to have expressed, to have lived

what others dismiss as reprehensible, nothing
hotter than having been a hot
mess so hot as this when

questioned each by our consciences we
commit to cleansing cinders, engulfed as
we are in prayers none hear.