william barker, three poems

matriarch

a kaleidoscope
of color
blooms
in vibrant fire,

blood
from
my broken nose
pours & gags,

falling forever
backwards
onto
the bed,

then
the
pillow
appears,

vodka
& cigarettes
on her
breath,

apocalypse
now
her
demeanor,

my
Mother’s eyes,
vacant,
black drains.

the artist

shadows
move across the mountains
from clouds passing above,

I draw a face of indifference
upon the sun,
smearing graphite with a thumb

until there is no face,
until there is no sun,
only a smudge,

scratching furiously
until there are no mountains
or even clouds,

just a black hole,
a blight,
only then do I drop the pencil

and go to sleep,
satisfied
with my self-portrait.

the hearse on the other side of the page

From
shadows

Death
watches

us create—
his bony fingers

knowing only
destruction.

Death
is both

cruel
and vain,

infinitely
patient,

searching
for himself

in the eternal
creations

we pound
onto paper—

the closest
thing to love

he will
ever feel.

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