A Few Unitarians

A Few Unitarians

Had gathered around
An alphabet  In my backyard

They were roasting
An antique syllogism
Using the glare of sunlight

Why is moonlight so messy
Creeping in everywhere?
Why is this pillow so noisy
With its chorus of imitation dreams?

When I drop-kicked Sade’s skull
Through the goal posts in overtime
A fine spray of red mist
Rose like the petal of a rose



The Ghost of My Death

I don’t have enough Curses or Prayers
Not enough Iron Snowflakes     To keep

You in that beautiful marble grave
Wrapped in bronze    In faraway South Omaha
High     On Saint Mary’s Hill

With your essential emptiness    You
Always imitate the ink stain on a shadow
Hiding patiently   Lying still on white silk
As if you were only a layer of skin

Death peeled from his moon-burnt shoulders
Beware    
I am collecting my Zoo of Fireflies
I am designing a net  To scoop
The starlight off the surface of any river

As I write each of these words
Sharpening the tip of every syllable
Hoping at last to impale you
You   You   You   
Not enough Prayers
You in that beautiful marble grave

As if you were only a flimsy
Thought discarded by Death at Noon

John McKernan grew up in Omaha, Nebraska in the middle of the USA and is now a retired comma herder after teaching 41 years at Marshall University. He lives in Florida. His most recent book is a selected poems volume titled Resurrection of the Dust. He has published poems in The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, The New Yorker, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Journal, Antioch Review, Guernica, Field, and many other magazines

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