VOICES FROM THE FIRE: David Estringel

Red Berries

Sweet

like red berries

rolled ‘round the mouth,

juice licks the tongue

on the way d

                   o

                   w

                   n 

                        in cascades 

                        of sugar and fire

                        that candy breath

                        and lies we tell 

                        b          e          y          o          n          d 

                                                                                         the fall of night

                                                                                         and quiver 

                                                                                         of aching thigh

                                                                                         on a hot cheek.

                                                                                         Why speak? Just C

                                                                                                                        R

                                                                                                                     A

                                                                                                                        S

                                                                                                                     H

                                                                                                                           into you

                                                                                                                           into me

                                                                                                                           into the black

                                                                                                                           of little deaths 

                                                                                                                          and the sweet of blood honey.

Medicine

You are my medicine when things are 

fever-pitched

fucked-up

shit

dismantled

glitched.

When calm disperses—cigarette smoke in fan blades, overhead—

tarring popcorn ceilings and textured walls with burns and invisible drops of carcinogenic rain.

What better salve for poundings in my chest—

palpitations

consternations

vascularizations

reformations

indemnifications of a life, juxtaposed, away from those eyes

that mouth

that touch of skin, yours,

the sedation of cool breath on a hot forehead and the combing of fingertips through hot sweat and hair—

the world I know. 

You 

are

my

medicine.

Tabula Rasa

Sleep dissolves

like sugar on the tongue,

as orange-blue Morning 

gingerly slices shadow 

through dusty blinds

and eyelids

with accommodating peeks

and a razor’s kiss.

Familiar smells of

old cigarette and musky sheets,

spit on the pillowcase and sweaty hound,

herald the new day—

a resurrection—

as the anima 

settles in—home—

into stiffened sinew

and old bones

from celestial traversings

(in light, in dark)

at the end of a silver leash.

Born, again,

expelled

through the gate of Consciousness

with a blank slate,

into the world of 

light and shadow,

smoke and mirror,

I resist the urge

to rise

and rewrite

the same old story.

Golden Calves

Words 

of PrOphETS

don’t rage, fiery, in the sky

or scar pristine faces

of sapphire 

on holy mountain tops.

No.

No point in lookin’.

They hide in plain sight 

like houses in need of a flip,

awaiting epiphanies 

and big reveals.

Folds of clumsy-cut loose-leaf.

Coyish peeks of ink 

above white, starched collars.

Tags on empty subway cars and hearts.

Silent lovers at kitchen tables

 topped with cups of cold coffee

and clean spoons.

They’re there—

everywhere—like oxygen

if we’d just rub the sleep 

from our eyes and

see.

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