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Bartholo Dias

Cat’s Paw

The radiator sighed, Cuban crackers

Kept the beat. Nursing her prey, the feline,

A cat no more than three months old

Stroked the air with her claws, rent the atmosphere

In slivers, and scattered stars in this common heaven.

What’s on top is news, the events of the decade

Brought to you by the prime of time,

Most deft of ministers.

Yea, brethren, I say, forsooth, verily, amen.

What mask will you wear tonight for your intrigues?

A two-faced mask will I wear tonight for my intrigues.

It is the cat’s paw, the silent shadow, the cold caress

Come in on the tenure of night’s breezes,

Dispensing the comforts of finality

To my nourishers, pride of prides,

Heart of hearts, cheek of chiefs,

Bone of my marrow, and tomorrow’s sauce

Of pomegranate red waste on the tide of door

Knocks and door knobs lying on hall floors.

The Mad Smile of the Half-Moon

She stood on a burning bridge and beckoned with her eyes.

Plasticized girders began to melt like gray butter,

Dripped in spurts of steam into dark water below,

Where they drifted past glass-eyed fishes that fed

On gems among the rushes a fathom down

And drifted past the jetty’s end, past the pier,

Beyond the turquoise-colored water. And in the sky

A thousand arcs of light lick the hollow of the firmament

Like split instances of time passed unnoticed,

Illuminating in dim effigy the courses of mud’s rise.

So we spend our time, and dream, and hope, and finally die

To complete the illusion, that others may come in our stead.

And the woman’s breath was hot on my cheek.

At the touch of her fingers on the back of my hand, memories

Rose of a mountain fastness soaring high over

The reaches of desert wastes, a mountain

Of crystal white snow peaks vibrating in the cold blue air,

A colossus of the West in infant’s eyes,

Eyes that roam among the flares of bridges burned

Before the consummation of crossing.

Who Gains No Wound

Who gains no wound

Makes no sound.

Who would be lost

Has wisdom found.

Excerpted from The Abbey Stone, by Bartholo Dias. [FREE DOWNLOAD HERE]

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