With A Nod Toward Heaven

By: David James

No sky in sight,
only a gray slate
painted behind and above
the naked trees
practicing their slow ballet
of sleep and frostbite.

The bitter cold locks us
inside our cages
which are mostly self-imposed
structures meant to delay
the inevitable.

The seasons arrive and leave;
they dance over here, sing there;
they fizzle and go
away in their own good time.
This ball of earth spins
and we spin along for the ride.

With a little color and flare,
we close in on the unknown
and that long, high climb.




pull off
the first layer of skin
and expose the bone
cut a fine slice
down your chest
to remove the heart
open the forehead
and pick out the brain debris
left there from

lower yourself down
on a flimsy rope
into the middle of your past
and take photos
of cave paintings fingered in blood
the crude stick-like drawings
of fears and doubts a missed chance here
a chance loss there
all captured on the wall
of some earlier life

this is archeology and anthropology
this is psychic-dissection
personal surgery without anesthesia
the mining for
your creation story
in a country
you’ve only dreamed about