glory be the mountain morning star
whose kiss brings red-chapped winds
a pale audience sits and begs
waiting with skinny arms raised like needy children
calling for mother’s milk
on desperate gusts
through shallow pangs
through the tempest’s knot
turning our tender rose
from cherry guard
to welcome wanton self-destruction

glory be the salted whore
begging abstinence from the earth
who comes upon the breath of each new day
with lips pursed around the throbbing promise
of spilled seed and wrecked granite
and demands of the soil
things it promises but won’t deliver

when thirsty brush begs desperate fire
and flames rage to claim this burning world
the father of strands begs for forgiveness

when lips are split and teeth are cracked
and flesh is subtly torn
all must be relayed

glory be the death of day
beckoning in black night
or worn decay and simple sounds
or precious means
of failure in a liar’s lung
and a body born besieged

when the wide blue cracks
and your best goes the way of hard-lost radio signals
mothersound comes creeping in

glory be the heart of hurt
in which we find growth
in which we find false absolution
in which newborns are unwanted and
fed to death factories
with dying wishes of their own
the timid
the weak
prise up your weak arms
from the ribcages of your unknown makers
and lick the sweat from your brother’s brow
kiss him hard on the mouth
and never worry about consequences
of suspected incest and inspected recesses
of purported abuse
or reckless fingers gone astray
of whispered threats
under the sacrament of broken bones
and torn clothes
of reeling when you’ve forgotten
and reeking of what you never could
and remembering how to live
off of the wasteland
that you’ve resigned to claim as your body

be a body
be a wasteland
be a listless spill of seed
be forgotten by another in the morn
and be awake through early hours
be your lover’s well-hidden trauma
be the rise of pissing day
and eliminate your worst worries
by nightfall

glory be the swelling leech
whose belly is bursting with all your freshest kin
it wraps around your throat
and works inside your disregard
for safety and protection
but still demands of you the same
it corks sweet cherry addiction
and offers you a helping hand
it watches as you grace the shores
and welcome in the strand
falling to knees already bruised
and sucking stale dirt from tired loins
as it births the new face
of divinity
between thighs all streaked with ruined blood

glory be the hungry tides
of sickle cell marsh and dementia
or, perhaps just resting eyes
or for once
a reason to have been there in the first place
you’ve killed yourself a thousand times
a thousand dirty ways
so what’s the harm
in one more good try

glory be the lay of great land
and lesser expectations
even when it isn’t there in the morning
and doesn’t call the next few nights
or ever speak again
but you’re still left
to carry unwanted cells
to hungry factories
and you’re still busy
picking crusted beasts from your hair

three months later
a sick cell divides
slowly but purposefully
deep within your gut
and devours all sense of reason
and delivers you gracefully
into the waiting arms of sand

so glory be the curse of caring
and glory be the shame of not
and forgetting wills
and forging through
with pleasure
when the womb of ash
is overhead
and hangs heavy and pregnant
just within reach
and you can taste tomorrow’s excuses
dark and wet in the back of your throat

set the king’s teeth
so you don’t swallow the prince’s saliva
and kiss the feet of a new belligerent morning
when your body is aching
and it isn’t really yours
and never again will be