Swan Lake

My soft soul is too human
for this animal pain
that rips like a ghost upstairs;
uninvited but present, wafting and cold.

It presses a silk hand over my eyes
and drives a silver knife between my ribs.
It kisses my white lips
and forces its’ breath down my throat.

I can cry and I can fall
but can I love with a heart of glass,
full of shards that find comfort
only when bathed in my blood?

My soft soul is too kind
to this animal pain
that preens like a priest at the altar;
promising redemption and forgiveness.

It folds me inside out
and blows, gentles as a Sunday, on my hair.
It speaks in rich tongues
and the only translation I can find is red on teeth.

I don’t bend and I don’t tremble
but instead, I collapse, with my glass heart
shattered like dew drops
on a spiders’ web.

Letter to Henry

“I think they make it ugly on purpose,”
you said, and yet
“beauty is terror”
is always the mantra of the intelligent.
Live forever?
But why? What for,
to treasure the gift we’ve been given?
That smell of rot is a reminder:
ignore the aesthetics of the thing,
Henry, you don’t understand.
Life is fleeting, evil
swallowed up by love.
Henry, put down the books, you’re
dreaming.

Dreaming
Henry, put down the books. You’re
swallowed up by love,
life is fleeting. Evil
Henry, you don’t understand –
ignore the aesthetics of the thing,
that smell of rot is a reminder
to treasure the gift we’ve been given.
But why? What for?
“Live forever!”
is always the mantra of the intelligent.
“Beauty is Terror,”
you said, and yet
I think they make it ugly on purpose.

– a specular poem inspired by the character Henry Winter, from The Secret History by Donna Tartt.