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Dark Poetry

It was a pure and perilous hate,
something you'd feel when
glimpsing an alien-eyed
copperhead invading the water
you once felt safe in and
never will again.


It was exquisite hate, an
unholy shimmer slithering just
above the surface of my skin;
It was all this, shooting from
the fragile pages that will
be compost in its next life . . .
Someone amputate this snarling heart!


I put the newspaper down.
Who needs to know this much?


But I'll read again. After I've
renewed my faith in reason and
afterlife and the Universe's
ultimate design, and besides,
I don't even know these people
and who can tell what is truth


and the coffee smells like night
and morning,
and that squirrel has returned to
twitch and shimmy like a giddy
toupee on my back porch,
and the errands to run, wonderful
errands to fill the crevices
of unanswered questions.


The paper watches with thousands
of impish black eyes as I scrape
the dishes. Pet the cat. Write lists.


Tension: a slow drip in my chest,
a ticking, a twist . . .
tap, tap . . .


Moon of harmony preaching to our chaos--
black lid and cleansing
white eye
telling us
light is the other side of pain.


But like Jonah, I'd rather be
swallowed than surrender to the
platinum half of justice.


The paper watches, reads me . . .


How much darkness can breathe
inside one tiny earth?
Is Heaven locked
behind those clouds?
Does it shiver in the
outside our hate,
and where does the
day hide
when we link night to night
like children  building a
tower of pain?


by Patricia Joan Jones  

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