/ / Issue 20

All which isn’t frightening,
is heavenly. Is the safety 
of birds and the madness falling 
into a farewell. Ignite a match, 
and a little more light into darkness. 
A little more beauty in the melted 
wax on the table. We know 
there are cracks in what hardens.
In rosebuds. In the deep 
freeze of the unexpected 
lilies. Sometimes the pond is. Empty.
Like the mulberry bush. The briefcase.
The shame you haul onto the bus. 

Today you have several lovers
and they want to hold your history.
Your shallows. Where does light 
come from when you are alone? 
In your housecoat. In the miniature
bougainvillea. One lover holds
a broken rosary. The other is handing 
you a bouquet of bohemian lullabies. 
Hush and you hear the stillness, 

you hear the tiptoe out of your own life. 
When the motel is empty of nudes,
you think about Renaissance art 
and how you would stand 
in an oyster shell if someone asked 
you to. We are a portrait 
licked by brushstrokes, 
before terror was the bowtie 
we reached for and tied around 
our necks. We chose pleasure
once, the chiaroscuro, Sacred 
and Profane Love, the light
against our cheekbones, the lilies
almost making it through the thaw.

Note: Sacred and Profane Love is the title of the artwork by Giovanni Baglione.