Halfway to midnight
& still the need for
words to break the day
in two, regardless
of how tired the tongue
is from digging
pearls of praise
out of silent shells.
This is when
the Captain turns
the rudder into
flesh, at peace
with how the
bow will break
a thousand miles
Help Me Remember the Roses
Once the voice was raised
silence stopped wagging its tail.
Like a dog unsure of love, that,
and yesterday’s ignorance
of how the heart can safely beat,
finding us covered in anger’s dust,
the hammer, the body, the blow.
Surely, an object wisely chosen
could have halted the untamed tongue
from putting its paw through the cage.
Even though the roses remaining
were shaped like the mouth of a deer,
in the right vase, made by you,
they would have lasted the night,
lasted till morning found something calm,
harmless & without teeth.
The woman in me & man in you needed
more skin to get out, more bones to build
a home in the center we arrived at late.
No shame existed for living extreme,
for burying boredom in a lavender field.
What needed to be done was done.
I took one eye. You took the other.
Gently bowing to kindness turned violent streaks
into circles of light, haloes of lock & load,
where judgment’s voice was cast into pigs
bleeding like the good book said.
Call us late summer leaves,
fallen & scattered on
where you drew the line
in a bed with no sand
as I slowly sharpened
the sword’s cold blade
warmed by suffering’s sparks.
Wondering if, there would
come a time without hands
reaching for the bucket of blame
& a chewed-up straw
no words passed through,
you asked me to plunge
the knife’s pearl handle
deep in a fist that could save you.
I cut the rope.
Your eyes turned green.
Blisters bloomed with clarity.
Daniel Edward Moore lives in Washington on Whidbey Island.
His poems are forthcoming in Nebo Literary Journal, Nixes Mate Review,
Lullwater Review, El Portal, Emrys Journal, The Meadow, West Trade Review,
Toho Journal, The Big Windows Review and Route 7 Review.
He is the author of ‘Boys’ (Duck Lake Books) and “Waxing the Dents” (Brick Road Poetry Press)