Grendel

The structured argument
struck the frame.
Blame rested squarely
on his shoulders.

The older he got,
the colder each day became,
and when he came,
the same was said.

By then, the minutes
poised in the pendulum
had the look of a winter storm.
Warmth had failed him,

and he breathed.
It was all he could do
to silence the frigid mounds
of protest. We all benefited

from his protection,
yet our temperament
made us distrustful.
Distrustful was the worm

of the day. Some say
he never really was.

-r. miller

A Quiet Place

Le miroir de mon cœur
refèlte ce que vous etes.

Smashed glass. A piped scream
holds the fragment of light allotted us.

The blotted hills, studious.
The valleys below, obscure.

This is a cure not to be messed with
or dressed in ethics. The anesthetic

of your gaze amazes.
Sewn to the sky’s chapped lips,

a final thought spreads lithe arms,
offering fresh shelter and warmth

from the cold that has lately been
a gray shroud over our discourse.

When the force of the wind
dwindles to a pea, we shall see

our names against the night
glistening like drops of water.

-r. miller

The Way We Came

The wise man appears
in the vacant night.
Brain steam calms the water
under light versus shadow.
What cocktails tell.
Baby, I can ring your bell.
Its knell will spill across
the forehead of the cul de sac.
A sure thing attacks
the carnival ground,
and the solstice emerges
from a most profound solitude.
I’m beholden to the wound
in your neck.
The spiraling specks of stained glass.
Our double shadow greets
the passage. What message
does it hold? Cold fangs
dipped in sulfur, sepulchral fingers
caressing empty space.
Now, I will face all former
versions of myself
with saintly fortitude
as I drift like a faint echo
through the halls of your dreams.

-r. miller

The Spark

Slicing the lust fires,
breath over pavements,
the wires singing you
to broken sleep

All along the minutes,
the slice slice slice
and murmurs of fanatics.
Automatic drooping sun

to the west and the rest
returning to stone.
Alone and diminished.
When I’d finished the report,

a retort quickly smothered my lips.
The way it slips… Focusing.
Drips of red deaden
the nervous twitch.

All I need is this picture
thoughtfully stitched
to the frame, a name
etched in glass.

A passing trance.
How artful is your dance
across the solid crowd.
Loud and rushing, fullness

spills itself in candied array.
I want to remember you this way.
I want the day to break
its bottle over me,

clover fields in cinders.
An order rescinded.

-r. miller

The Escape

Final lines. Humanity in the swine trough. Off with their heads. When I see red, I make red. Dead smiling. Silence in numbers. The fumble and the save. Fatal retreat.

A rhythm beats faintly
through the skies of our pride
and just as faintly dies,
leaving not even a void,
no reminder
that it even existed.

Persistent disdain. Slain sheet. The meat of the problem. But what about the gallows? Swallow. Spit. Craven words swimming through shadow.

-r. miller

Everything Seems Wrong

So again, the feeling
shuttles carelessly
through the wilted song.
Clouds drip,

and everything
seems wrong.
Along the frame,
a name appears

and disappears,
clearing the way
for an understated hurt.
At first, it spurts

and soon bursts
into a lurching blossom.
Since then,
I’ve given up searching.

I’m tired.
These heavy hands
are wired to synapses
collapsing inward.

Hard storms
and shivers follow.

-r. miller

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You What Now?

Enthralled by our disappointment,
the impoverished see with internal tears.
I miss the human truth of your smile,
saying “Go fuck yourselves, you motherfuckers!”

The impoverished see with internal tears
the muses at the doors of your body,
saying “Go fuck yourselves, you motherfuckers!”
Produce great persons, the rest follows.

The muses at the doors of your body
and the dead end in every face
produce great persons. The rest follows
out the window with the window.

And the dead end in every face
is an act of simple extension, reflex.
Out the window with the window.
We are the same people, only farther from home.

Is an act of simple extension, reflex
a house in our arms?
We are the same people, only farther from home
blossoming in the pale crystal library of tears.

A house in our arms
enthralled by our disappointment.
Blossoming in the pale crystal library of tears,
I miss the human truth of your smile.

-r. miller