To Cease, to Finish

To Cease, to Finish

                               After Vladimir Mayakovsky


At midnight as ruin comes

in the dark sudden

too fast pellets 

spew from his lips


danger there in his blank 

gaze. His mouth moves 

his petitions breathed 

into the night air.


At midnight— rolled up counterfeit 

bill in his back pocket. What then, when 

the mind warns and the heart

keeps on?  


In that foul haze, the house 

faded and tarnished.

12 o’clock there he is waiting

mendaciously still.


We kiss quick, 

his lips parched

as kiln-dried timber, or wax, like

the dead— 


their ghostly limbs arch                                   

coming in fog.

Darkness over us—

a Great Horned eerie cry.


Coyotes staccato howls 

blare, blast— horror

like last night’s candle light 

Was that me burning to char?


And that terror that tightened my stomach

at night in the dark

and now scorches to

its flaming peak.


Eyes wet in the cold air—

Love over —You, your lipstick

too dark.     A finger to my lip.

I turn— my mouth iced coconut—melded dry.

What are you looking for?