“Boy with a Box Full of Wasps”, “Son Rising”, and “Raspberry Bushes” by David Estringel

Boy with a Box Full of Wasps

Sweet nothings,
whispered under breath,
melt ears 
like sonnets scribbled on paper 
ripped from hornets’ nests
hanging from the trees.
blown in the wind—
cold paralysis riding the breeze—
land their marks, 
to sticking places (and jugulars)
like dark spells
or opiate darts.
How dubious this love,
like wildflowers in December
or a box full of wasps, 
tied with ribbon--pink and satin--
like lips 
that sting,
drunk on wine
from slices of green plum,
fermenting in the noon sun.
Ghosts in the garden
are we,
haunting the thorns
of rose bushes
and this poisoned well,
where wishes wither 
and perish
at the touch of cold, liquid skin.
I love you?
                    I love you not?
Who’s the scare?
                              Who’s the crow?
at the foot of the gate
blush, fiery, at conundrums 
and the sticky-sweet of roseblood
on fingertips 
and minds, 
for the next turn of the screw

Son Rise 
His wandering days, done, 
have seen the setting 
of the sun. 
Night falls 
like an ink spill 
down God’s baby blue, 
heralding The Call to Sleep 
from the West 
in the bed the earth (he) has made. 
no longer sing and pine 
for a peek of our handsome face— 
now mottled and drawn— 
as nightbirds gather 
in requiem  
to guide the procession 
to a pillow of stone.  
There will be 
no more hot tears  
to scald these cheeks nor drip 
from burning lips, 
onto the heart beneath this breast, 
in flurries, bitter cold. 
For these two souls 
be enchained (in this world) 
without surrender 
of fire, 
leaving the one in the cold 
to burn. 
I mourn what never was, not 
what came to be. 
For in the end 
the last one to see morning 
is me. 

Raspberry Bushes

Stealing a moment
from the fields—
pungent with sweat and
cedar, warm, on the breeze,
I find a spot, touched
with shade 
behind the barn,
where raspberry bushes hide—
ripe for the picking—lush
and swollen with fruit, 
from modest but shapely stems.
pull me inside, 
along walls, warped and damp,
where harvest baskets, 
unattended and bountiful 
with plenty, patiently
for a place at my table.
Hopping up, 
teased by hunger,
I pull off my white t-shirt
and wipe perspiration 
from my chest and armpits, 
before crossing the threshold
for another taste.

Walking down the path 
of cedar trees—
hands in pocket,
eyes peeled 
for the rusty white of
overseer’s pick-up
‘round passing blurs of trunks—
I strut back 
to my fields of barley,
by sticky fingers and
wet stains 
of pollen 
and raspberry swirls on a white tee.

David Estringel is a writer/poet with works published in literary publications, such as The Opiate, Azahares, Cephalopress, North Meridian Review, Poetry Ni, DREICH, Horror Sleaze Trash, and The Blue Nib. His first collection of poetry and short fiction Indelible Fingerprints was published April 2019, followed by three poetry chapbooks, Punctures (2019), PeripherieS (2020), and Eating Pears on the Rooftop (coming 2022). His new book of micro poetry little punctures, a collaboration with UK illustrator and artist, Luca Bowles, will be released in 2022 by Really Serious Literature. Follow David on Twitter @The_Booky_Man and his website www.davidaestringel.com 

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