for mother’s sorrow.
Tears bead her face like charms. She
stays joyful but keeps trying –
then through now.
She wanders, trying
to stave off rains that harm trees,
holding in perfect calmness.
Larmes always cries –
when the bay goes rough
or calm. She can’t stop wild eyes
from watering her whole world.
She stays tough –
still a tender girl.
When a stray hummingbird flies
past she mourns the grieving sky.
The Angel of Death Organizes Poorly
She liked to sketch stranger’s tombstones.
She knew the fallen from the saved.
Her dreams were dark roads, always paved
with black gems, dotted with pay phones.
They weren’t planned, but her own grave
mistakes were made. All hers. She played
at sermons but lost sins she owned
like her fall dress – the one she’d saved
for – perfect and new. It was made
of kisses from men she’d unknown.
They had plans of their own with grave
purpose, gray faces. Almost brave,
she mastered their mouths, lost their bones
where they’d fallen. They couldn’t be saved
like coins from her phones. So she laid
them out – sheets for shrouds, tongues for stones –
and made a plan that he owned. Graves
are hollow. Fallen souls aren’t saved.
slouches on a chord
waiting for Susie
and watching some girls
glissand on by.
Various birds provide
their own ornaments.
Susanna is, of course,
late by two whole
rests but Figaro
He watches the high
and hatches plots
that will make
come out right
just as soon
as he sings them.
Mark J Mitchell’s novel, The Magic War, appeared from Loose Leaves Publishing. He studied at Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver and George Hitchcock. His work has appeared in several anthologies and hundreds of periodicals. He lives with his wife, Joan Juster, making his living pointing out pretty things in San Francisco. A meager online presence can be found at https://www.facebook.com/MarkJMitchellwriter/