Gabriel Lee Bass: Two Poems

Photo by  Sylwia Pietruszka  on  Unsplash    [Image Description: A close up of dew drops resting on verdant blades of green grass.]

Photo by Sylwia Pietruszka on Unsplash

[Image Description: A close up of dew drops resting on verdant blades of green grass.]

Tributaries

the tears our mothers fed us as children

were hand-me-downs—old and bitter

drawn from a poisoned reservoir

 

the multitudes behind our eyes

turned our faces into dams

holding back apocalyptic floods

 

we grew hard and cold and full

of opaque stagnation that we diluted

with wine that darkened our silence

 

an oil spill immune to denial

the unwept river crept over its dikes

and into our walls our works our skin

 

so we fed the tears to our children

who knew not our fullness

until they learned to hurt themselves

In the Garden of Seedless Fruit

more than anything lingers the futility

the infructuous sowing of pitted peaches

the syrup at the bottom of the can

the way it feels     to be eaten alive

you possess me    for now    where

the dun mangled light   falls like hail

over our bodies full of milk and dried apricots

we swell and ache here   and we like it

you hold on to me like ivy in this

grove where everything is temporary

but the dirt

            and the pollen                 the winding

path of a serpent in the dust

            who also lives on his stomach

we give no thought

            to what he eats

our bodies tear to accommodate

            the intrusion of this

fullness     that doesn’t stay

no matter how much   we eat

until we sicken             of sweetness

            and stretch ourselves

out over the    deep earth

in wait for the serpent

                       


Gabriel Lee Bass's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Into the Void Magazine, Ink in Thirds, Riggwelter, and others. He currently lives in Southeast Arkansas.