I sewed the wind into comfort for you.
I whitened black night with burning
glass and blackened white lies with
sooted ash. I sat, faceless,
shawl-covered on concrete floors,
shame built on refinery lines and
stolen silence from the past. I let
you cower. I watched as levers churned
out bleak horizons, as pulleys separated
welders’ hands from wrists, as spinning
mules spooled sin in shadow factories
against grain, mill, seed — artifacts
lost when day yielded to night but
night never relinquished to day.

Faint shrieks hammered like machines.
Gears cranked and coiled. Copper dust
flecked like snakeskin — anthills
of metal ash at the feet of sallow
dreams. I saw color, light, motion.
Glimpses of breath, of life, of
obtuse pallor, of ages when reverence
arose and set with the sun. I followed
assemblies rifted by railways, hollowed
from rivets, harrowed with the plight
of healing saints. I stared headlong at
the flood, my eyes bulbs in cages
obscured by split wires; frayed
circuitry pardoned for stowing light.

 

Also published at ALTARWORK.