Today's poem is by Terrance Hayes

The Blue Sylvia

A daily dose of repentance. Eyeballs rattling
in the sockets of my permanently pried expression
as I turned from you on a Parisian Ave.
Then turned again. The rock of Forgiveness,
pink planks of gum in tin foil, movie tickets,
house keys and hands in my pockets.
I liked proof of struggle. A bright imploding kick
in the nose. Thus I could not smell
and I could not believe what I could not see.
A switchblade in the ear. True, grief had me
in a headlock, but I was biting its wrist.
Afterward we walked home through the poppies.
Past the cannibals of diction, rhetoric in its coffin
shaped sedan. Once I could fit into the sleeve
of my mother's bathrobe. I shut myself in the closet
with a bucket of bee carcasses, chanting "Crocus!
Crocus!" until they stirred. Now I believe art
is nothing but the appetite of memory, the scent
of an oven left on all night, the neighbors knocking,
then hammering at the door. When I died
they buried the whole house. Forgiveness scurried
through without looking into my eyes. The book of love
hymns on the mantel, sunlight falling
with meanest kind of tenderness. God turned
back because I had no gifts. I'm locked for good
now in the mind of Lazarus. A bee sleeps in my mouth.

Copyright © 2007 Terrance Hayes All rights reserved
from Court Green
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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