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. Kisses blown in the wind— cold paralysis riding the breeze— land their marks, hard, 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? Poppies at the foot of the gate blush, fiery, at conundrums and the sticky-sweet of roseblood on fingertips and minds, waiting 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. Meadowlarks 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 cannot 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 away 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, dripping from modest but shapely stems. Thoughts pull me inside, along walls, warped and damp, where harvest baskets, unattended and bountiful with plenty, patiently wait 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, betrayed 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