Glow

The trick is
to hold out your hand
and convince
a cluster
of carbon-dioxide
molecules
to dance
upon your palm
which will
produce a white light
while you stand
perfectly still—
static—
and it will last
as long as you
keep the molecules
excited.

So do this trick
in the nude
and exhale
deep breaths
onto your palm
as if you blow
a kiss
across the room.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Cipher

I found
a secret
lodged
behind a loose
wall stone
not typical
of this
geography.

It was
written in code
and a feminine
scent rose
from the ink,
which was
the rust color
of oxidized
lipstick.

All the while
the sunshine
changed
from honey
to golden
to yellow
to the norm
of invisible
light that
provides definition.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Sayings

Angel, you live in the holy light
and we live in your shadows.

Please dance so your movement
lets a little light through

and I can see when the light glints
off my daughter’s sparkly halo.

I scrub the kitchen floor
and this corner is too dark for me to tell

if I got it Clean as a whistle
so I may prove I have done nothing immoral.

Angel, thank you for folding your wings
and getting down on your hands and knees

to help me buff this linoleum beautiful
as in Cleanliness is next to godliness.

But Angel, you spread that darkness
over my shiny linoleum floor—

the shadowy shape my dog casts
carrying a dead squirrel to her dish.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Disrobing

I thought I was home.
I was in the arctic.

I climbed out of my father
and left his body upon the ice.

The relative temperature felt the same
against bare skin.

I mean I left behind his behaviors I learned
through childhood observation.

I mean I never want my hand
to make a fist to teach a lesson.

Not even to punch a hole
through the darkness in search of light.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Delight As A Fly

Paul tried to feed his logical mind
so he could taste the infinite.

But logic rejected all of his astronaut dreams,
fantastical dragons and Dali surrealism.

So his mind ate a bland fair
of serious words and earth sciences.

His eyes saw starlight as math.
Equations proved speed and time.

His arm never rose from his side
to reach toward the galaxy.

Mid-sentence he lost himself
as nearby thunder shook

an oyster shell open
to reveal an opalescent sun.

It rose out of the shell
to take a place in Paul’s void.

It spun in that empty space
around an all consuming blackness

that entangles stars
but consumes only one arc second of light.

A single ray as thin as spider silk
stretched across empty parsecs.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney