John's Perfect Heart

John's life was a quiet disaster
of needles and computer screens and alcohol
bank notes drifting gently down
onto the bodies of his parents

pets asleep in the filth of a swollen toilet
doors and windows blown open
in his mind, lights winking down a river
walking to work in the rain and the rot

he saved lives and stole them, ran screaming
down stunned streets, smiled carefully
in shops as he bought suicide implements,
melted and shook and snarled in the gym,

drove endlessly along roads, roads, roads
as future memories swam in his veins
- he would marry and father sad children
- he would die at someone else's funeral

John's life was his own, and every choice
split the universe in two, each half perfect -
perfect in panic and pain, in rain, in madness -
such a heart raging in such a savage heaven

Blood Flower

Getting dressed up in the evening,
spangles on her blue dress glittering
in the bathroom light, she gave the mirror
a maroon lipstick kiss,
lush happy petals on the glass.

For just a moment she stepped out of time
and dizzily saw herself
and her friends, strangers, all dancing
in the disco strobes, forever
as roses snowed from the ceiling.

She glimpsed a bearded and coated man shivering
in the hot Tel Aviv night,
his eyes bright with something unnameable,
his mind frozen, seeing his God's sky so full
of stars, faces - in his last moments, he realized
it was as if he had never lived until now.

She shook her head and wondered.
She wasn't a girl who saw visions.
She wiped the lipstick rose
from the mirror, and walked into a future
of ball bearings and bones and nails;
to become the impossibility of beauty.

To be the blooming of a blood flower
in a bed of bodies and flame.