How Many Incarnate Petals

by Barrie Davies

Artwork by Alexa Gaffaney

How many incarnate petals tick round the dial
Measured by green mystery?
Flower acolytes worship the wind in shivering pity
As my flesh thirsts for merry earth
Bones as twigs divine the tickled blood…
A gasp of water baled from the side
And a tangled piety throttles thistle and rose alike.

How many days are stolen from nothing
Moulded from mist miraculous light?
Shades of gall invite a hand to stir echoes and promise
This threadbare heath mourns my pockmarked scalp
As the diseased cripple of weeds graves my way to Doomsday;
That searching thirst swelled a throat before the rasping sinew
Harvested tension under a sickle sick sun.

Anaemic stars infect my blood,
Even as the roguish body washes his hands of that lusty serum
That is neither here nor there, as quick as life’s fever
Or the glacial slog of death’s slack murmur.

The temper of the blood is foreign to the brain:
Whispering occult riddles, twisting the signals,
It’s all a flourishing stammer to brain’s Babel.

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