Fae Reflections

By Joseph Barrientos

By Joseph Barrientos

Two on two

the lapping of the waves

I can hear them calling

like her fingers on my skin;

both call to salt and sky

reflections of two lives

Fae tunes

danced upon the divide

of world’s chanced and chosen

with the water’s swift

abandon

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Last House on the Block

(It’s poetry, so nothing’s right out in the open, but I’m just going to go ahead and say TRIGGER WARNING in all caps before we delve into this one)

crickets quieting footsteps

no one thinks to question the shadows

closed doors leave behind

until the lights paint

red white and blue

across the glass:

through the cracks

the social worker

notices the spider

completing its wrap

where the buds

silently fell.

We Came from the Sea

Image by Christopher Campbell.

Image by Christopher Campbell.

winnowing treasures from the sea

her hands are coarse sand and

swirling shells crying

for the wind

as she turns the sun another degree:

“Look,” she says, “Look,”

without protest from the recess

of notes worn in threadbare hair

–remnants of hippie days, one supposes—

things my fingers can twist

merely into deeper shadow

like bare feet under summer maples.

Gradually, the tide takes us

our footprints carried into the waves

that we might walk on water

drowning only flesh

in the reflections

Mirage

Happy National Poetry Day everyone!

Photography Luca Zanon

Photography Luca Zanon

Mirage

When answers shift like grains of sand

twists to tongue like traders in a foreign land

Truth becomes a camel

sucking sustenance deep into enamel

sifting for parsing hopes

built on childish slopes;

it will last

until the next repast

humanity colored with invisible ink—mirage

success would never dare presage.

Curling at the Edges

(A blast from the past. Now with full audio.)

Roiling at the seams

in browned spots

the print, smeared

still holds flecks of the image

the profile was meant to be.

 

Lower, still

the ageless quality of a tree

rising from the hunched cranial

(let us admit: too large) cavity

rooted in the faded flesh

our fingerprints

 

so gently blurred;

without a stream to drink from

it curled and devoured

the paper that gave it breath.

Perhaps, even, its branches

would die to give us this moment.

 

I have heard it called quaint,

our gentle hording

of a memory,

 

but the thoughts that resurrected

the flesh beyond those roots

was once quite dear

though without the stream

it rippled free into distortion

like the beating of a dream

 

of a drum, of a thought;

the water carried me away

one day

rootless under the surface

with nothing but the edges

of a curling notion.

The magnitude of an apology

The magnitude of an apology

is an elusive jelly-fish, floating

 

memories in an expanse

of ever-moving sea-water

 

crystalline nothing harbored

–in an expansion of space

—-too great to have meaning

——without catching the tide

 

honesty writhes in and out

but until one tastes its sting

 

the pieces of possibility

scatter on our shores.