Hour 24 – Dragon Remains

Dragon hearts are greedy.
They care not for the body,
which yearns only to rest,
to rest, to rest, to rest.

The heart wants to plunder,
to gird in glory and iron,
to rend man by fear alone.
To set the earth ablaze.

So even as the body, this old,
joyless flesh, rots steadily away,
the heart clings to its armor,
grasps ghastly fangs and barbs.

It will not let them leave, it
animates a terrible tomb.
The teeth, claws, burning bones
rattle in their fearful mail.

Hour 23 – Vow

When all is done,
And morning comes,
When dark retreats,
Our foes all beat,
If you still wish
To share all this,
The come to me
And, newly freed,
Be bound again
To your old friend.

Hour 22 – Garden?

How many flowers
make a garden?
Do they have to weather
winter’s chill to sprout
green and new in spring?
Must they sit outside,
in pots or in beds?
Do you have to plant them,
all colors and breeds?
Or can the unchecked weeds
that muscle up through cracks
in the sidewalk concrete
be my persevering garden?

Hour 21 – Villain

Candle flames flicker in dark eyes.
Shadows cast by eyeglass frames
Carve out a sinister façade.

All it takes are the right accessories
To transfigure your soft, geeky persona
Into something villainous.

Hour 20 – Faerie Dance

Rose petal skirts,
Rose water shirts,
Loose and rippling,
Pink and masculine
Wrap around their twists
And leaps, light as light.

There are no sparks,
No magic dust, but
How else their flight,
Their elegant powerful,
Raw beautiful,
Arcane intertwinings?

Feats of strength,
Ineffable trust,
Effortless extensions,
All softened into
Old paper pages,
Whispering, beneath
Braided bare footwork.

Watch for too long,
And fall in love.
Not with them, but
With the way they love
Bodily, entirely, physically
Sustained by one another.

Hour 19 – Sleep Juices

My sleep juice is slow.
I feel it pooled in my knuckles,
soaked into supposedly
dexterous tendons.
I see it fizz in my eyes,
a clinging veil just
vaguely frosted.
It takes a few minutes
of clenching fists
and wiping glasses
for the sleep juice to retreat,
sucked back to brain
through waking nerves.
I hope my sleep juice
doesn’t weigh down
my face into basset hound
eyes and jowl like
I see it in my sister,
always betraying
when you’ve caught her
after an oddly-
timed nap.

Hour 18 – Ghosts

She lives in the wind,
So she might run her fingers
Through her beloved’s hair.

They live in the trees,
So they might lift their daughter,
Strong and bold, climbing to the top.

He lives in the doorbell,
So his songs can ring through
The quiet house and spark smiles.

They live in the birds,
So they can greet you every morning
And wish you a wonderful day.

He lives in the handkerchief,
So he can wipe away his tears
And offer comfort in sickness.

She lives in the gloves,
So she might guide her choices
And ensure they are hers to make.

They live everywhere.
It is their love that tethers them here.

Hour 17 – Diseased

The flame
which cauterizes
is poisoned

The water
which cleanses
is haunted

The air
which soothes
is bloody

The earth
which buries
is rotten.

Salvation isn’t coming.

Hour 16 – Accent

Tongues taste their languages
with flavors and currents
each unique to itself.

Some words are chewed on,
carefully held in cheek pouches.

Other mouths push the syllables
rapid and crisp through the teeth.

Some lips move loose and open,
widening range and depth.

Certain vocal folds are held tight,
rasping and scraping out the sounds.

To each it feels natural, the norm,
to taste only with your own tongue
your own dialect and verbal shortcuts.
The rest are mere accents on the original.

Hour 15 – Door in the Road

The night is cold, snow
dusted sparsely along the berm.
It is the kind of cold which makes
cheeks too numb to feel tears
but not cold enough to freeze
them as they drip… drip…
onto a furry coat collar.

The road is empty, only
a single car parked to the side
mostly sheltered by thick trees.
The nearest town is miles away.
You would have to drive for hours
to reach this quiet, cold land.

There is a person standing
in the middle of the quiet road.
They listen to the crickets, rustling
of a living forest, head tilted up
to bare neck and face to the stars.
They are holding a key.

It is not that kind of key.
The kind of door that exists only
on the median line of unused
country backroads cannot be
opened with that kind of key.
It is a glowing branch, reflecting
off the scattered snow.

The figure raises their wand,
points it as far above as they can reach,
and waits a moment.
Listening, again, for something
that might make them want
to stop. To stay.
Their listening is unanswered.

It is nearly violent, the swing
which paints a wide, luminous circle
before the body, just greater than their
reach, right above the median line.
The wand goes round a second time,
twice to bind the door on both sides.

If the person looks back…
If they wish so hard to see a pursuer…
If their face is numb and wet…
there is no one there to see it
before they climb through the door
and lock it dark behind them.

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