i. High cheek bones show two ells but here is one
The return of a portrait nude of a graying male slightly torn,
jagged with a careless letter in a distant studio by a raven pupil,
closed an oily circle that began with an initial smudge on a ocher flank
and ended with a volley of correspondence that slowly grew electric.
ii. A cough designed to catch your eye
The now pudgy former gamine bends over trashcans
in a discount housecoat of red velour with sporty stripes
near the place you met the smudged mascara that night
cycling home from school with the tears that made you cry.
iii. The uneasy disappointment of no longer feeling murderous
Spooked with calm tears in the bedroom morning after
committing the unnatural crime of square-toed shoes
near a table with blood red wheels; the smudged curtains
wisp a chiffon of meaning that perfectly freezes alarm.
iv. Chrome is no substitute for a welcome reflection
A vigorous smoke exhausted by the smudged fanning blades
pauses to snatch a callipygous view of hiked yellow hips,
as she bends over a linoleum counter in a short striped robe,
attempting to kiss the tearful lips of a spread white rose.
v. Etching over a careen that has no finish
Hoping for a curious little job by calligraphic hand
that will turn the aqueous face of smudged glass
into the smoky hues of sweet sticky forgetfulness;
the perfumey residue of nicotine on lips and lungs
releases gray memories of other hidden tears.
vi. Taxonomies go up and down
Of the thirty-seven ways of hiding tears,
the best use hallways three through nine,
to feather the short vortex of raven hair:
it was just another kind of smudge of death
and another mark of a prickly birthright.
vii. Again the curtains are revealing a creep
birch thin bones in a leathery box covered
by the tricky cloud that played the moon
in a vein pumping peripheral drama
played on a stage of rocks and scrub:
ever see a yellow finch of smudged green
lashed by raven wings and the sting of salt?
that is the mold that dually breaks the mold
both tearfully true and crazily easy to behold.