She’d open up lives on canvas :
the infant’s inked footprints in black
and the marbled tombstone in white,
the mushroom cloud of the nuclear bomb
all painted in black and white
while they conveyed ideas
dominated by shades of grey.
The picture of her chest snapped by the machine
baking her tissues with a beam of rays
was in black and white, too.
When my white-sleeved hand
held it up against the glowing screen,
I saw cannonballs* piercing her lungs.
The back of my mind wished
it was just another picture
painted by her.
Truth is not always what we wish for.
*Multiple pulmonary nodules on chest x-ray are known commonly as cannon ball secondaries. Cannon balls indicate poor prognosis.
Imagine Him pressing
32X on his system.
The heat-dead molecules-
virulently mobilized, realign
into suns and planets.
Tiny space capsules emerge from them
and move earthward.
We leap up from our graves.
Lizards creep into seas.
The primordial soup unchurns
to split proteins into amino acids.
Galaxies condense to a
single point mass, waiting
for an impulse to explode
and create life
Words as smooth as honey on spoon
do not make full sense
unless they are said quietly
by the one you love
in the backdrop of a full moon night
while tracing with a finger
the curve of your cheek.
Last night, from the next room of this hotel,
I heard the sound of shattering glass
in the middle of nowhere, followed by
the loud voice of a man and the stifled scream
of a woman. When I placed my ear close to the wall
I could hear curses, masked by the humming of a radio.
I wished the wall separating us didn’t exist
so that they would stop quarreling at the sight of a stranger.
Today, from the next table of this restaurant
I saw her smile at the joke he just said.
As the soft music played, she held his hands in hers
while he loosened the grip around the wine glass.
After what seemed like an eternity,
they moved around the table a little closer.
She held a mysterious smile at the corner of her lips
and he hid tears behind his eyelashes.
The hotel was empty except for me and the couple.
I wish I had their children by my side to witness the scene.