Our Proud, Blind Youth

woman

“Getting strangled to death
was the last thing in the world
she imagined she would be doing
Thursday night,
the day after graduating university.”

BSB

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Who Couldn’t Love That Smile?

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His cheekbones pronounced, his slight bristle of stubble, his brows immaculately-shaped, he positively glowed from the picture frame.
He could have modeled. Perhaps not on the runway, for his demeanor was too humble, too approachable. He lacked the stark, cold angularity usually reserved for runway types – those exiguous flesh mannequins, paid to shut up and look fierce, or bored, or merely apathetic.
But he could be useful on some poster or brochure selling a car, or a vacation, or a cup of coffee.
Did his girlfriend ever say things like, “You have such a nice face, you should be on television?”
Did he give modeling a go?
Was he chewed up and spit out by the heartless fashion industry?
Did he write postcards from a broken-down Los Angeles motel room?
Or was he simply happy being who he was? A bank manager, newly promoted, newly moved into a two-bedroom, Yaletown address, newly murdered?

BSB

This Affair will be the Death of us All

The gracious palm extended by our host
Makes light the anxious air inside the hall
Regretfully he dare not leave his post
Or else to chance abandon he the ball

The streamers tickle tops of drinks in toast
To health and happy tidings one and all
Tonight we dance ’til give we up the ghost
And mark we morning by the rooster’s call

But lo, our gracious host is absent nigh
And slowly dies the music feeding dance
As dim the candle flames about us grow

We see the celebration is a lie
And curse the name of horrid happenstance
That takes us with the dying candle’s glow

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Five

In moon-lit, sparkling snow which covers ground
The tracks of snowshoes shuffling through the wood
Canoe ashore by tighten’d tether bound
In peaceful silence, night sleeps as it should
With wisps of dream a-light in nestled minds
The daylight’s fauna seek the sandman’s spell
Nocturnal beasts, they brave the dark to find
Escape from that which forays forth from Hell
A nightmare monster bent on blood and pain
Who stalks the land of whispers locked in snow
And leaves in wake a trail of scattered slain
And paints perfume of death on winds that blow
Before the sun returns safety with light
Wendigo is the one who owns the night

to war

we boarded our transport
a capable hulk of road-worthy metaland rubber
behind schedule but ahead of the sun
which stayed hesitantly hiding
behind overcast cloud cover
a solemn silver mask bathed the day
in dullness, lulling us in our sleep deprivation
attempting to convince us
we were not in fact heading off
potentially to our deaths

we disembarked at the spot
away from everywhere I recognized
and they told us to gather under
a white tarpaulin
the sun still hid, even though
the day was growing fatter

others like us were there already
suited up
the terror in their eyes
already giving over to feelings of
inflated empowerment
our own terror was still fresh
and present

they had uniforms of black
armor and boots, gloves and padding
all black
and hard and not mine
however, they told us the uniforms
were ours
they had our names tagged to them
so I supposed they were mine

we put on the black uniforms
we needed help adorning certain pieces
the folks who told us to gather
under the tarp came back
to check on us
and then told us to go to another tent
and collect our helmets and guns

the gun was strapped to my arm
I didn’t know how to fire it
but the man in the tent told me
don’t worry
it will work fine
just point it at the enemy

I didn’t know where the enemy was
or supposed to be
but I just followed the men
in front of me
they didn’t know where to go
either