Arches in the Underground

                    i.

Sing to me of paradise,
like a virgin laid out to receive

her candles from the fists of
sleepless nights. Restless and relentless

as death’s pedals, each of which
pushes roses past tomorrows his

rush borrows and blows out as
this cavernous craving purchases

from broken earth what hell it
burrows within until, ravenous,

devotion to sorrow so
consuming as this nourishes. And

tears when shed sow symbolic
exertions, workings inward none knows.

                    ii.

Without public, is hurt shown
not holy enough to handle its

gift, still too ignorant of
spirit, too illiterate, yet, of

silent experience read
only when lived, to get this, the shift

in consciousness? Transition
from withered beneficiary

to bitter benefactor,
posturing this ersatz attitude

of chosen solitude one
only chooses to not work through but

seem in constant need of its
pursuit. If only a mood used as

                    iii.

insurance against a once
broken man’s confusing illusion’s

all-consuming loneliness.
His been-there-done-that dismissiveness.

Yes, just some bad actor’s poor
attempt at that brand’s bad active stance

of far more has-been passive
aggressive nonchalance played as feigned

benediction somehow now
holy enough to live with. Guiltless

as all I’ll-get-the-hell-out
for going full gut instinctual.

Love’s plagiarists pugilists
loathing themselves hard as they hit with

                    iv.

dullard fists, boned intoning
the Devil’s diminished fifth, dirges

purging to surface those truths
brutes refuse to witness. Corruption’s

corrosive wealth of rusted
messes mixing messages left with

exposing evidence. Breath
less fresh after pounding pulsing aches

and everything but this
nail on its head, oblivious to

symbolism’s consequences.
Perhaps lust’s meaning really is no

more than the underwhelming,
unsuspected reason for being

                    v.

here. Why, always fleeting, touch
left to cool where lain, leaves flames of stains.

Arches in the underground
fall fools to unawareness. Ashes

in persona thunder sounds
its darkness worsening when, under

duress which pressures, flesh feels
dim-lit sinister influences

pain surfaces. Caresses
of creation’s remembrances. Debts

that harvest darkness harboured
like secrets pressed by strangers to breasts

palpitating with regrets.
Chants anguishing in universal

                    vi.

language crushed esteemed abridged
interactions collapse. Potential

wrecked. Unsalvageable. All
possibility of sought success

ancient’d. Relegated to
dust, instantaneously, by

the quest itself. Jettisoned
choruses of belted transgressions

inscribing lines wrinkling best
efforts at rebellion, the same way

everybody else does
it: with intense, melodramatic

melismas of, ‘I don’t want
to die right now, but when I do, I

                    vii.

want it to be slow, and so
alone.’ Cadenza’d friendships ended,

spirit denying my flesh
its meaning’s deep unseen overtones.

Its heat’s cold reasons for so
much undertow through which, seemingly

needlessly, to have to go.
Ignoring me like an unanswered

phone, how knowing this might be
the call of mine I preyed to discern

by praying upon the ones
whose sins my own absolved. Dethroning

from their dominion those whose
moaning bones I mended boning them!