By Gene Hult
When spirit moves me, the briquettes sustain
no other smolder than the burn rising
from my ashes, a squawking fowl of flame.
When spirit takes me, each lie of guiding
tears metal, renewing a scratch to itch,
reversing into a garage I-beam.
When spirit suffuses me, oceans glitch,
confused seabirds wheeling above doldrums,
pipers teetering on the static beach.
When spirit riles me, the holy pogroms
don't suffice and massive boulders erode
in wretched cubist sculptures by cold rains.
When spirit incentivizes me, snowed
critics melt like witches and torches leap
like lightning beetles betwixt tower nodes.
When spirit assuages me, schemers reap
galling vengeance from patient surveillance
of he whose alibi's guise will not keep.
When spirit touches me, my complacence
expands like sodden wood and entertains
sustained ignorance of inlaid ailments.
When spirit satisfies me, the mundane
daily details chime with laughter, dusting
the bookcase like a French maid on champagne.
When spirit abandons me, a crusting
of sharp rust on the tub's porcelain scrapes
my calloused heels, edges deconstructing.
When spirit ghosts me, the routine landscapes
of clock and dogwalking inform passwords,
and musicians sound like gibbering apes.
When spirit texts me, the lines run backward,
too complex to insinuate between,
belief hazarding a stone bath for birds.
When spirit invites me, the window screen
tears with regretful claws by opossums
while the handsomest wait on Halloween.
When spirit pets me, tingling shame blossoms
in my face like steamed towels and soldiers
cordon off the playground in ranked columns.
When spirit leaves me, the blame is shouldered
as my burden in the shoddy cottage
of candy, ants dismantling enclosures.
When spirit forgives me, as does language.
Gene Hult is an INFJ Scorpio dogfather with ADHD working as a writer, editor, college teacher, photographer, and publisher in Houston, TX, although originally a native New Yorker. He has written more than 125 books published for young readers, mostly under his children’s pseudonym J. E. Bright. His books of poetry from Brighten Press include Render, Catfish and After, and the forthcoming Ades Fidelis. Please visit genehult.com, or follow Gene on Twitter and Instagram.