Forbes and Fifth

3 Poems

"Space changes and children do not"

Then: space cried bellows of shining rain

Nursed dreams

Never reached


Now: space was

never out of reach

always-already taken


Tired mechanical ecstasies churn time’s three directions

Re-sew truth

Human skin onto plastic skeletons


Faceless children cannot die

They have no selves to kill

Are not seen by people

Nor starstuff


Starstuff, noun, /stärstəf/:

      (1) All the precious stuff

Reality hides in its pockets


     (2) Dreams of space that

Still dance

Across the sky 

Like old flame



"Eight in-stances of interiority"

Consecrate yourself in the rhythm of the abyss

Those slip drop slight gaps where memory lies in suspense

Where even those most divinely mired

Can seed their proven myths


For the first time since the last time you can 

Hold someone in the way

That bridges the pit

Without forgetting it

Wind, heart, chasm recalled by Sisyphus

In the amnesia that only memory is


Who carries the weight in tight ballet:

Bodies, anguish, surpassed by ribbon from ankle to thigh

Wavering in grace, chains that have died

Give us life they never quite had


But in renewal, must flight desist?


I’ve made enough spreadsheets to know

The soul no longer exists

It perished not, but it diffused

Decades before I wept on borrowed pointe shoes


So I’ll take true love and skin it

Leave its peelings on the parlor floor

God, it must be so damn lonely to be a piece of cold metal

In interstellar space



"Anxiety through unions, apart"

In the story that therefore I am

The highest flower must be passed by

In the technic corpse of greasegrime sky

There is no room for you or I

Because it scares me to let death die


Give me the right sight of blindness

To see the hatred of expectation, to be

The son who walks taller mountains

The maid who hears warmer rivers


I seek the strength to take it

In my hand, and, like the moon

Skip the stone through anxious night

Become so blind to laugh at the sight 

Of that highest flower


With a clear evening and the right stream of tears

You can see the deep purple from the shoreline for years in

           either direction chaos turns to constellation

           opacity lends rhythm to the seasons

Holding hands defends us from the current

Of the present

Do you hear it diffuse darling?

The sky murmurs that we are starlings

Volume 18, Spring 2021