Negative Space

No, I don’t write poetry
Though there are times when rhyme
tastes like a bright ember between my pursed lips
And silent chants echo through this hollow head
My skull a drum for spirit tongues

And no, I’m not crazy
Though I once was granted an audience with the Jade Emperor
Who murmured stained glass as he played rainbows with me
And laughed me out of paradise when I asked him what he is

No, I’m not wise
Though I’ve watched iron-clawed Kali dancing universes
Swallowing worlds with an ebony grin
Buddha smiling calmly, sitting in the center of her eye

And no, I don’t do drugs
Though I’ve chased whispered epiphanies
Through the dopamine caves to the serotonin sea
To find the magma tide crashing against my frozen throat

No, I’m not beaten
Though I can find no escape from the belly of desire
And I’ve been lost deep in the night of long teeth
For years

And no, I’m not cruel
Though desperate I’ve swum
against the chessboard floods
of black-white blood
That pour from love’s broken mouth
Blind to the woman drowning beside me

No.
I am never untrue
Though I cannot tell
Where the truth lies

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