March 1, 2024

Meanwhile, Beneath the Strawberry Skyline

by Steve Sleboda and Pat Pontillo
(Steve wrote the even numbered stanzas)

The ace of spades held deeply within a conspiratorial sleeve
floated downward, through the mass of clouds that pushed
the continental plates of a strawberry skyline
into a dark gravity that once held the moon over an ocean's balcony.

The maps lay frozen under camps of the enemy where friendly fire grew wings.
Spotted birds delivering porridge to the ancestors weep tears of a frayed greenery.
Courage scampers across borders of arrogance, in pockets of disgust & fame.
There was a sound coming from the well, along with a light only the cricket knew.

Tracer bullets at midnight and then pistols at dawn, followed by flash bulbs firing off
in the minds of the survivors who see encores of the tragedy in a theater of fear.
A distant solitary planet, posing as a star, clears a granulated sky
during another cricketless night.

There are no borders to conceal the glow coming from the starless distance.
Energy given to the language where voice is a sand dune
and where thought has no spike under its tongue,
as it grapples with the snail in the mirror.

Gravity turns its head back toward the scene of the accident
where, within its perimeters, rain puddles reflect the pulse of red lights.
Everyone crosses the Do Not Cross line in a disheveled motion
that resembles a mud dried trench coat which once sat under a Christmas tree.

The owl lands in the oak above the tarp covering the memory of cloth.
Trying to find a priest in this century is forbidden and will not be tolerated.
Deliveries to the warehouse out back startle the innocent one.
Let's call it a day and welcome homeless a new generation of dissonant strangers.