I. THE ELEMENTS
All of the graves I’ve dug myself out of,
All I have coughed up from deluged lungs,
All of the fevered fogs I have evaporated into,
All of the infernos that have charred my heart,
What elemental death;
What encircled destruction.
Crucified to a perpetual impasse,
Of empty suffering,
Of barbed voids,
Vulture touches, silvery and cruel,
Distant, yet captured still
By their fateful claws of doom.
I’ve swallowed all of your pain, drunken, sick with it.
Gashes as abysses, streams of poppies down my faint limbs
Tangled adhesions, gulps of empty hopes
Half-way out of every door, every tomorrow, every reeling Now.
Veiled tragedy, am I much of a bride?
Descending the heavy clouded slants, in bruised sight, in light stride;
The pearl is hidden, among my hazes and thorns.
You hold my hair, while my odium is hurled
Kneeling, with my sails furled
Never to be filled with air again, never gliding
but inwards and towards hiding.
At the rudder the Captain’s asleep
The anchor is in Neptunes keep
Sirens approaching with marche funèbre lullabies,
Waves taking the form of nightly alibis,
And the bile clouds descending to join,
This very special flipping of a coin,
Heads for sinking into the naval gape,
Tails for a more tempestuous escape
The albatross as a judge,
Of which way to nudge,
The floating wreck, the breathing sunken,
Devoured by the storm or by the sea drunken?
And back—to my porcelain bowl,
Emptying myself of rust, dust and coal.
Wearing nothing but your generous gifts,
A veil of chemical mists,
A necklace of bruised jaundice and lilac;
Your last intrusions still blossoming as roses in my back,
Your honeyed amber stuck to my skin,
And your rot is waltzing within.
Vera is a Scandinavian poet, made up of contradiction and dust.
Photo: Icarus by Adger Cowans