Opossum, My Possum

A fat opossum sat upon a chain-link fence at dawn,

placidly gazing into nothingness and relishing the quiet of solitude.

His pink and balding tail hung frayed like tattered string,

and his undulating spine arched high above his sunken shoulders,

rising and falling as his lungs laboured to breathe.

The hairs upon his frail back were soiled and knotted skeins,

though each remained sufficiently sleek

and shone beneath the moonlight like tarnished steel wool.

And as I pondered the opossum’s fixated stare

and scoured the skyline for reason,

I began to understand his persistence and the futility of wandering in the dark,

and I hurriedly climbed the fence to join him.

And there in the distance, the sun began to rise,

scorching night’s curtains in piecemeal fashion as if to test my perseverance

and the sincerity of my desire to receive new light.

And as I practiced patience and sought unveiled horizons,

the clouds were set ablaze,

routing the lingering blackness

and melting my thoughts of yesterday.

A Tribute to Allen Ginsberg

Inspired by the Japanese haiku, Ginsberg created the “American Sentence,” a single sentence consisting of seventeen syllables.

The globe is a compass impaled by its needle and drawn towards Hell.

China might seem vast, but its essence resides on an island, exiled.

The rampikes were green before they were bloodied and broken beneath snow.

If blood can save us, then why are we not saved with so much being spilt?

A sharp resolve uncovers the layers of stories and human skin.

I swallow chocolate-coated insects and vomit to make room for more.

A dime’s obverse shows the same value today as back in 1910.

After the explosion, we found blood on the cross, but it wasn’t Christ’s.

To Dust

My Christ,
and God, my Father,
beams of sunlight on my sheets
pool towards the glinting blade
of a box-cutter
lying extended from its sheath
and resting beside me
instead of Eve.
Perhaps I could use it
to carve out a rib
or return to the dust
in which my lover hides.

Drunken Waxwings

The diet of a cedar waxwing, a crested passerine residing year-round in parts of Canada and the United States, is predominantly fruit-based—and by consuming enough red berries, the bird can develop orange tail tips, which vary from a natural yellow colour. Occasionally, cedar waxwings digest berries that have fermented, and they consequently become drunk.   

Icarus,
a plump cedar waxwing from Waterboro, Maine,
dreamed of changing his tail feather tips
from dandelion petals
to autumn smoketree leaves.
And so, he gorged on honeysuckle fruit
and clusters of ripened mountain ash berries,
gulping down orbs of red severed flesh
and singing songs of fall towards the sky.
But the juices had fermented,
and their vertiginous molecules
disconcerted Icarus,
seeping through his gizzard
and corrupting cells and blood.
He stumbled on his moulting perch
and, fluttering, he fell,
tumbling towards a twirling ground
strewn with bleeding compost—
And that is where I found him,
by a winterberry tree,
nestled amongst the rot
and scarlet colours of decay.
His breast was clawed and tattered
and his bowels were exposed,
dangling from their shredded frame
in glistening pulp-stained heaps.
His eyes were empty sockets
and his wings were rent and chewed,
but the feathers of his tail
were a bright and brilliant mess,
smeared with crimson splendour
like a small brush caked with paint
or the rudder of a plane reflecting sunlight.

Dreams are Sweet and Fleeting

Beginnings resurrected by the memory of your
bloody lie:
a tale represented in mists of bottled earth
and petals stained with good intentions
that rot and drift in vaporous clouds.
Infuse me with your noxious dew,
deployed at midnight
as a means to make me want you—
and it works, my broken princess,
affecting my nostalgia
and allowing me to realize
how dreams are sweet and fleeting.