The slick slender man came to my door
full of red, glittering in white
and a touch of blue.
He was cool as he leaned upon the frame
near the drawbridge for her fortress
a sly smile on the square jaw.
A voice came from the cadaverous shape
echoed with a tremble through the ramparts
the damsel shivered alone in the palace.
Ghost of eternities long gone he stood
handing out his potent scent of decay
upon a platter made of her silver and her gold.
Starving for their essence, he begged once again
his face melting onto the mass of corpses
like an old candle into a muddy puddle.
She recognized the features from an old cartoon
wanting to laugh at the grotesque demand
of the impotent giant but she cried before dying.
Traveling the rail
His eyes almost invisible inside the thick mop
freckles hidden by the fresh dirt of another fall
still the excitement of the boy sparkled
ready as he was for yet another journey.
He knows he will slumber in the hay
leftover from some forgotten circus
traveling outside of remembered times
a smile on the leathery mask he wears.
Pondering the future of distant stars
holding on to the nectar of his ecstasy
he will free the aching limbs weary of
the distances he must conquer alone.
Burning for another adventure he knows
the risks on the bruised bones
the shell his armor no longer so thick
often bereaved by the indigenous foe.
Though tired of the sleepless eternities
his growling entrails rejoice in the meager pittance
as a tingle grows with the cadence
of a purring mile-long convoy.
He recalls the quests of his kin
his true family though not of blood
as he ponders the dots left on the ancient map
on a great pilgrimage to find their ghosts.
All are pieces of whom he hopes to be
before the scythed one calls his name
and on the end of the tracks he will stand
brave as ever ready for his grand exit.
I point to your deepest and attempt to reach
with a most delicate hold to your insides,
full of butterflies, a heart so dry.
Do you smile there when another does well
to bring to you the comfort you need?
I ask whether you feel the ripples of desires
meant only for you to sigh in immediate awe.
While you take a berry to your fresh lips,
the cocoa to warm a chest yet so cold,
and smile in your soul to this loving day;
are you simply glad you can trap this glee?
No matter the origin of the earned pleasure,
your smile is a bounty to the one so destitute;
a chord made of birth and life it is a precious tie,
happiness may always flow of its own device.
Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications.