muted night sky with a tree top in bottom right corner

“Brittle Adoration” by David Sam

The lava of self-hate
burns from cabbage-green skies
as we hide under a tree
that burns brittle brown.

The once-white moon
is coppered
as it lurks behind
stinking clouds.

We loved ourselves too much
and now eat egg shells
and chickweed
and hard potatoes

grown between acid storms.
Black hideous sleeps
nightmare my days
leaving sticky drool

coating the words I mumbled
as unconscious prayers.
My legs are dried
with barren seed.

Your womb is pregnant
with cancer.
There is a fissure between us
as the earth cracks open

too hot for us to walk
our empty romance
along a red-tide of sea.
Insipid stars have erased

all their constellations,
and we have no stories left
to write a history
with no tomorrow.

The infections of the past
blister on our flesh.
We have our barren love
and sips of our disease

to comfort us tonight−
beneath the brittle trees.
under a wraith of clouds,
beyond the reach of heaven.

(after Rimbaud “Mes petites amoureuses”)


portrait photo of David Anthony SamBorn in Pennsylvania, David Anthony Sam is the proud grandson of peasant immigrants from Poland and Syria. He lives now in Virginia with his wife and life partner, Linda, and in 2017 retired as president of Germanna Community College. Sam has four collections and was the featured poet in the Spring 2016 issue of The Hurricane Review and the Winter 2017 issue of Light: A Journal of Photography and Poetry.  His poetry has appeared in over 80 journals and publications. Sam’s chapbook Finite to Fail: Poems after Dickinson was the 2016 Grand Prize winner of GFT Press Chapbook Contest and his collection All Night over Bones received an Honorable Mention for the 2016 Homebound Poetry Prize.  www.davidanthonysam.com

Written by The Editors

The Flexible Persona was founded in 2013. We are an independent home for emerging and established writers and poets.

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