The Teeth of Wraiths

by Felipe Rivera

Dedicated to the unknown, the absent, the untouchables,
Huddling, nurturing, crooning over simple shadows
A lingering scent of groping lust
Deaf parrots in cosmic solitude dressing and disrobing
And breaking cadavers in infinite jazz:
A severe gash outside our bodies
Scribbling with cut tongues, or fates
Tracing the tip of each delicate hair
A field of naked poppies, days before the solstice
A sperm-tinctured blanket mist and Mount Sutro
Indeterminate like time, or now, or dusk
Breaking wine glasses, screaming into black holes, or rum
Lips torn into existence

We are night or shade
Beautiful blind monsters smashing mirrors in reverse
Always absent and untouchable
Like two moons passing with no word
Now stuck to flesh made raw
On this furiously gentrified corridor
Where sighs sigh the shape of a jail cell
Of lavender, musk, or the Pacific

Have you been crushed, crumbled, returned to the earth
Medieval Madonnas levitating
Coated in rust where there is no rust
Always absent, unreachable like free wine, or infinite jazz
Lingering in scent, groping lust
Inside the folds of an old eye, a bruised dress
Our terrible duty is to see it to the end

Huddled and crooning over a simple light
To the singing children, the ill-fed and the well-fed heading for the abyss
To the unknown, the phantasms, a shadow or mirror, to the moments of silence
This is our dedication: