Cymbal Eyes

Our wishes trickle endlessly through narrow-waisted days.
Sometimes at sunset, when the light gapes briefly open,
the mescaline skies swivel and now the constellations
of the Air Pump and Microscope reflect
in the dry interstices between clumps of black grass.

The giraffe house is in flames.
Pools of topaz light pour into the impotently
sulking shadows, stretching the limbic darknesses
of the patio furniture across the mown stripes
of the croquet lawn. The balls have all gone stray.

Surprise, surprise; the one that got away
rises above the rim of the peacock world
and scuds swiftly toward us over the heaving breasts
of the kingfisher sea, hissing under its breath
about what went wrong in the veiled interpretations

of a dream that is somehow vindictive,
where you know the shirt the headless
mannequin wears means endless water,
its buttoned skin brimming over with liquid
and no leafy place where a bird could ever land.

Water, sand, and alcohol; all the desolate places
where Hermes and Kickaha talk shop in slithering whispers
and the unkindness of man hallucinates his own celestial reward
in the cerebral praline of an imaginary tomorrow
borrowed from banned books.

Somewhere in the empty deserts of cyberspace
a magician juggles the lost moons of my rough drafts
like porcelain plates licked nearly clean,
spinning them out into the infinite West
of the inaccessible past to frighten the horses

and initiate the duplicities of sex
like two ships that crash in the night
and slowly turn belly-up to sink
through a distending slick into a dark sea,
taking their drunken captains with them.

©2001 F.J. Bergmann

"Cymbal Eyes" appeared on November 2005.

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