VI. After, we learn that the bruise is a rogue singing heart, its idiom blue in green, a single lace of light on wingtips and freshly tossed dirt, like grace released under breath to an deserted room. Bring lavender. A watch. His second best tie. The ring vowing you to a mountain’s silence and the trace of a grandchild he would never warm with his gaze like his still lives back on the island, still hanging on the peeled walls. What does a sun ray sound like through the vaults of skin, bouncing off the varnished cold, rifling through the rain’s silver earrings and alcoves of feather? What does it promise to breach the dike of fierce, maternal clouds; what does it withhold? Your refusals become her eyes’ trembling wolves. VIII. A burnt song. A dawn’s silvery spike. A murmur like leaves or fingers in water. A lung of strings. A warning’s siren. A prayer that leaves nothing to fortune. A plate of warm bread. A stray daughter asleep and returned to the hearth. A scarred river of lights overflowing its banks with each passing minute. A mirror and arrows of ash darting through her hair. A thirst to follow, now a whisper on her Bible’s threadbare pages. You hear her turn the tap off, slip on the sturdy work-shoes and search for the keys. This will be the seventeenth year she’s yielded ruins inside her to love’s brazen urn before another day on the belt. This small church where to rise is to bear the ground under your knees. BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE VII. You tremble in the wolfish dim, drunk on the blood beading your spine’s rim. Your palms are cradling your brow, your palms are smoke. The Antillean is half prow, half fin, humming ribbons of white sand, rolling bud in one hand while the other gauges how to stud the animal’s sheathed claw in your vertebrae, how to defy borders of muscle and vein to plough the proud flesh with amber, indigo, onyx. Mud shifts insides you, like false memory: did not both Kafka’s condemned man and his punisher commit themselves to the harrow? Did they not aim to strike against disappearance? Like a gesture, the oath washing into air, you conjure again the pit of her burnt song inside you, the calling’s last spike. 135 V. Don’t talk to me about guilt. Or the way shame sounds like a plastic coated man shuffling behind you, toothless and with stones in his fists. Orpheus who is not quite dead, sitting up in his pool of brown guts to pluck a harp. You make choices around those pus-yellow eyes. When I say protection, you want a naked sort of body. When I say true, I mean a weeping willow. What’s under a gown of ice. I mean there’s never been a time to speak out of turn. Surely not at sunset, when a man you’ve pleaded for all your life is wrestling to part with his. Test the weight leaking out of his skin. Streak his glass walls with your fingerprints. You will, you can call him father. Look, look at the bruise in his heart.