Three Struck Matches On The Table

Thin kerosene lamp mantles scream,
throw mud-clod light
upon locust speckled walls
as a turntable spins out
Paint It Black
disconnected from speakers
and the needle-scratch
fishnets this Sodom house,
but never skips
surfing the time warped vinyl
and I furiously search
through my dresser drawers
for something to wear
other than the hand me down
Old Testament God.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


God came for me.
This was her third try.
How charming.

No I am not a forest prince.
I am not a body broken
at the side of the road.

Let me heal you, she said.
A fire will reforge your spine
with hammer blows upon a turquoise anvil.

The apocalypse
is not the salting of Sodom and Gomorrah,
but a revealing.

And she kissed me.
With passion she drew into herself
all of my experiences.

You are a mass grave, she said.
You are a cocked-headed magpie mid-solution.
You are a son of the world tree.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

Come November

What she sees through her binoculars is not wild horses,
but a child bent to the ground examining a butterfly
drying its wings of dew in the risen light.

The thin sliver of smoke rising from beyond the ridge
might as well be the salty smoke of Sodom in ruin,
though she guesses it is an immigrant campfire.

But the analogy holds when she thinks about the emerging news
about Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
Her family reads only Facebook and forms opinions accordingly.

Her dog perks up, sniffs the air, woofs.
Use to be, she would take a case of bottled water
to the migrant trail the coyotes blazed.

But the sheriff and border patrol now arrest people
for aiding and abetting the crossing of that invisible line.

She thinks not providing water to the thirsty
should be a crime against humanity.

She improves her Spanish
in an adult education class at the community college.

She knows she will vote for a new sheriff
in the autumn elections.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney