poems by Robert Beveridge

Antigone

 

She sleeps

the sleep of the content

wrapped in a lover’s embrace

while I blind and cold

can do nothing

but state the scene

 

my frail hands

wrapped around this birchwood cane

ache to touch the youth

the almost febrile glow

they have forgotten

 

 

 

The Last Thing She Ever Said

 

The roses once were white.

Toll of accelerated decay

has flecked them with the red

of her dress. At the end,

I was surprised at how simple

it all was: the buffet

contained the proper implements,

open bar did all

the motivation work.

The groom was hardest. By then,

some shock was gone, the ushers

had started to move again. She,

though, was simple,

passive, as though

the blade were going through

the top tier of the cake.

Her veil, still pristine,

now goes better with the flowers.

 

 

 

Liquor

 

sweet taste sucks

breath from throat

liquid from lust

 

warmth of its lone caress

flames my stomach

to flurries of desire

 

the darkened magic

of wheat-boiled grain

alcohol burns

smooth in my body

 

 

 

Tarot

 

you have asked me again

how to construct a tarot deck

and so I’ll tell you

 

get some paint acrylic of course

(it mixes better)

and thin places, ceramic

seventy-eight

extras for mistakes

if you feel such a need

 

find a palette

that will not soak up

the emollients

you will add to the paint

the back of your lover

usually works best

 

open your wrist

and pour that blood

into your paint

(it mutes the colors

underlines their power)

or if you can

take a long needle

and pierce your heart

the gods of tarot

like this blood best

 

draw on your knowledge

of daily ritual

nothing magical

about this tarot

your love and money

your sickness and health

your future and past

your life like mine

like everyone else’s

 

the magic

is in your blood

 

 

 

Yet Another Love Poem

 

It’s tea break. Half-empty

bleachers glint reflections

into everything from bone china

to styrofoam. The pitch clatters

with tea services, batters

and bowlers argue the merits

of Darjeeling; Earl Grey

is reserved for the Ashes.

The day mellows into sunset.

Players take their positions,

ball spins, bat cracks,

The game is on again.

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