red skies at dawn

the sunset is bloody
this morning – unlike me.
I smoke another cigarette.

he’s gone away and
that’s okay, but. my bed
has been changed
since he slept there.
is my body different
than the one he touched?
has my heart changed
from the one that
felt something? is his bed
the same as where we lay,
or does she
sleep there now?

I watch the warlike sky
and think about this bloody
hell, this ungodly mess that is
the business of life
and death. if I hold the former
inside today, I will
have to deal the latter
very soon. I search my heart
for clues as to how
to feel about this, but
I keep coming up

for years I wrote poems
about things that grow
without being alive –
sightless, turning heads
inside my body, barren
blasted gardens rife
with strange dead plants
that never bloomed
or bore fruit, but somehow
always increased in size –
without knowing
they were literal,
they were messages
from my subconscious, trying
to tell me something. then
I had my insides
scraped out
to kill the things
that lifelessly grew there.
my mother had them
too, after my sister,
those eyeless, brainless

if this one would have a face
one day, does that matter?
or is the tree justified in killing
the vine that would strangle
the life out of it?

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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