Occluded Fluidity

This warped spine
knots the ribs
to constrict a sound
the voice of pain
the body crying
and the echo
of a thousand
ossified cracks
growing larger.

A doctor strides
from the hallway
into the examination room
a hundred research articles
harnessed to move
at the slightest motion
of his fingertips.

After a skin deep look
he states I require
better colour
with his English accent
adding weight
to the brush stroke
that applies
a primordial orange
over thoracic vertebrae.

The crystals
lodged in my joints
pop like notes
out of a calliope
in a circus wagon
drawn by a team
of Clydesdales
to a curtained building
where the winged creatures
about the entrance
are severely weathered
and it is difficult to say
if they be gargoyles
or angels.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Honor System

Two rust laden wrought iron gargoyles flanked the gate.
They watched traffic pass on the street.
Cobwebs stranded flies between fence rods.
Paul entered cautiously.
Faded on top, a red ball remained motionless.
The knee high grass hopped with locusts.
A woman, white as a ghost, watched from the window.
Her limp hair even paler than her skin.

A photo series hung from a clothes line by wooden pins.
Black and white nineteen-forties film stars at leisure.
Often at home without make up.
The sign stated, Newly printed from original negatives.
On the table sat a locked metal box with a slot.
Hand scrawled in marker $50 each.
A box of white cotton gloves sat next to the cashbox.
Paul pulled on a pair to examine his childhood heroes.
He thought how easy it would be to pilfer the set.
A grating sound rounded upon him.
He glanced to see the gargoyles now looking in his direction.

Paul slid a greenback U.S. Grant in the slot.
He exited with John Wayne.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney