• Keith Baughman
  • Memorial

sunlight welds the rusty horizon

to the birdsong in our blood

to fill our mouths with clocks

and trampled gusts of wind

that sages ignore for ripened fruit

and the pleasure of memory

lost to stones of an un-

excavated well captivated

by the slight passage of time.

the ocean dreams in clouds

and speaks in wind to the eyes

of our hands leaving runic scars

of now and not yet like songs

of travel on the backs of deer

inscribed on glass panels

to make memorial the entrance

of invisible caves where death

is the stirred air of bees

whose wings are fingernails

dipped in tears.

and I am a locust about

to bring my earth to your

calloused lips bent around

the iron rod of your hammers

driven into muted bells strung

like the beads of your spine.

wooden bells that swallow rain

to nourish hellbent poison

blackened by coal old as

the crow’s empty wings

and the mare’s bottomless eye

turned inward on the source

of hollow whispering labyrinths

inside dawn-touched shells.

this bandage of teeth asks

nothing of the blossoming stars

but the simple promise of the next

breath-lit moment.

I ask in excess the silence

of footsteps falling from the sky

what drywood can I force

my way into burying-motive that I am

inside this green-leaved skull

woven by a child whose

laddered hands dissolve

in the mirrored reach of my prayer.

tell me again the unbroken name

the hulled sap of the name you

want me to forget that it may

burn to air on my charred wick

and pass with the multitudes through me

like semen scorched in the galvanized womb.

poverty hardens these muscled gestures

dancing in quilted skins between us

to mock our hunger that cracks ribs

cold-forged with ringing hammers

echoed in the heartbeat

that pulverizes into starlight

the blind note I carry

unwritten to the song

of this light-stamped horizon.