Where Words Light the Stairs on Fire
Tonight, I would disappear if you would
only put your hands away.
The trailers on fire here, country
music boxes for the moon to tinker with.
That moon with one knee
bone deep in each of us, each of us
half of this altar.
The moon on borrowed fire
with the snow of minor wishes.
The moon using you like a shovel
to bury January in what I'll admit years later
is my blood forever. For now,
I'm a bracelet of words for you,
for if only and since then,
a bracelet of words for the black gravity
of your bones asleep
with nothing but your jewelry on. Tighten me
until you feel your heart thud back.
Silver then green then a sentence
that ends in your name. Then
another sentence ends in your name.
When you feel me fall through you
like snow into roses, no, slowly
start to roughen your dark edges
like some rusted tongue
in the ribs of a bell,
hold me like the news,
where more and more of everything's on fire,
where the prayers fall through
the fingers of language like ash
into your name and other ornaments of failure.
Colin Schmidt grew up in Maplewood, New Jersey and Newark, Delaware. He's got poems upcoming in The Paris-American.