It's just poetry, it won't bite

Nature is Ordure

02.06.20 Posted in today's words by

Susan Sonde’s most recent poem to appear here was “I Was Your Brightest Hour, You Said” (December 2019).

Nature is Ordure
By Susan Sonde

performing in Blackface
against starless nights.
Beaks break. Feathers fly
from the nest, land
on the bottom
of bottomless cages.
The latitude above each

lately defecting soul
implodes and the black cloth
of a wolf’s howl
crawls across the sun.

Oh harried humans
you make gains in the spread
of interstates, amortize your flesh
fetishize the act of lying
and move through every quadrant
of the emotional scale
like amyotrophic ghosts.

Earth’s not your cure-all
wind not your planet
your launch pad
not the stars.

Road shows like medicine shows

were once your small dark cities
their mayors the Gods
possessed memory
but not regret, creatures of habit
that took their due
like all living things
from the sun’s remaining swagger
a faint dark zest
cosmic winters torpedoed.

This is my soul talking
the oldest part of me.
It wants to pierce through
a light year, escape velocity
my rapidly contracting flesh
its constant banter.
It wants to access my ancestor’s cells
sheltering in the silica
that sharpens sand.
The last of a ghetto-burn
which summoned them
to a ritualistic killing
still strips the contours
from where my now begins:
my radiant prescriptive
graffiti-prone protean being.

No benediction this
nor resurrection forthcoming.
My wherewithal withdraws.
It’s shop’s too small, sacks so tall
need re-filling, sun
to race over mountaintops
set the horizon on fire
when night arrives at my doorstop
with its incubus in tow.
What can’t be rectified
wears the sun down, makes snow
fall black again.

History won’t wait
for the earth to yawn
mind to process un-reason.

The mercurial brook shall continue
to reflect its rippling illusion of heaven, blue
mount the dove in flight.

No sense piling more wood on.
The polar vortices are weeping.
The stove at the earth’s center
still overheats, is of empire and increase.

All detritus from charred wood shall
reassemble, winter’s nocturnal gaze
sound its lonely tattoo:
the inhalations and exhalations
of a fragile people held at gunpoint.

No reason to believe
what’s got you by the throat
will ever let you go. In this here
there’s only now: smoke-centered
transitional, emptying
into the wind-wept void.

Creatures that have no whim
know nothing of terminus.
Death frees them from nature’s grip
and what wilds in the blood
isn’t always death but its sweet

The apple of the world
will still pop out roasted
dry air be tousled by desert wind
long after the generations cease
and conch shells repeat
the over-colonized silvery distances’ laments.

You there, with your silent slender hand
on the locked door be apparent with self.
Did you drink up the silky festive hall
of another’s warm breath?
Knead the slickness from wet clay and
leave no moisture for others’ fists to spill?

Do all things that now encounter you
help themselves
through the only portal of you
they know? Your tony shallows and wastes
go no further
than the end of a dripline.
Your soul’s not going to live
in the hereafter
as another higher form of energy.

There’ll come a time when breathing
shall make the birds in your purview
resistant to flight. The new day’s
not going to jut out of a hole in heaven
with a trophy to reward you.
You’ve won nothing, are guaranteed
nothing, not even the hair on your head
and when you lose it
the lice that played a part there
shall be made homeless.

You’re a thespian at home
on a cardboard stage. Your timing’s
off by only a second, your longitude
Acting comes naturally to you.
It’s in your blood.
Blood-flow not come around again
and maybe the folding knife
in your breast pocket unexpectedly
snaps open.
The wallet that also houses there
won’t block

the flesh around your heart’s happenstance.
What happens there shall
earns a living or not: chance notes,
a musical interlude.
No none of that.

On your stage
breathing’s become a lost art.
The part you play isn’t long enough
to keep the cosmic broom sweeping
the cosmic dust up.

The instant your mind senses blood
it invites more bleeding
finding comfort in the plural.

How far back does your memory vehicle go?
Do its brakes bleed?
Mind a kettle whistling itself empty?

Your assignation with infinitude’s a sure bet
once the stars begin to swap heavy gasses
for the spaces your bones left.

What is it within you that’s shaped by anger
what by regret? You’re so easily extravagant
with power that you succumb to both.

Your throat’s on fire. Your wings sport holes
patterns mismatched, colors hepatic.
Every star that might guide you
becomes a dust mote. Every sun
appears black.
The firmament over which you
sought to prevail
has darkened. You point
at the walls of your house

and countries burn.

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