Two Poems by Michael Boccardo
Bliss

A young artist dreams of bliss
under the golden rapture
of nightís elusive candle.
He sits spellbound,
marooned by thought and shadow,
all folded arms and bow-tie nerves,
eyelashes trembling like blades of grass
stirred by restless winds.
Canvas stretches exposed skin before him,
Four corners tight, beckoning virgin to virgin.
He follows the map of his hand
through chambers in a palace called
memory
and lifts a finger dripping
violet smoke.
The first caress is like
paradise splitting open.
Breath surges,
dusted the color of snow.
Pores marble to Braille.
Hands gyrate, frenzied movements
threatening victory over the marathon
against his heart.
Images of sunsets surface
drowning in fever-pitched waters,
dreams tinted gold as Egyptian sands,
nightmares shaded with fangs
and witching hour madness.
Additional strokes bid sanctity
a kiss goodbye
as reality swings its door wide.
And he discovers his masterpiece
washed clean, a Cheshire grin
suspended over lush hues and tones
remembered like sugar,
like honey,
like heaven,
staining his lips.


To My Heart in Winter

O young Heart,
silly Heart,
you have grown tender
under the weight
of all your tenacious winters.

Moments before the sun surrendered
beneath its demure coat of green velvet,
seconds before autumnís shackles
rusted and fell
shivering down to earth
in mad spirals,
I warned you
didnít I?

Wagging a finger
stern as an invading icicle
splitting your spine
into separate months,
separate days,
contrary as snowflakes crudely carved
in no determined order
upon the palm of your hand,
I warned you
didnít I?

Donít trust the silence.
February is full of noise,
and chattering bone,
the chalkboard shrieks of blood
raging beneath the ice.
Weary, damaged faces you left behind
surface in an avalanche:
eyes open like funnels
lips twist the shade of extinction
on a thin vaporous thread.
They warned you
didnít they?

Here the baby-faced devil
tiptoes across their reflections like a fawn
and dips his silver shaft
into the star-cracked water,
sipping solitude
from their bruised portraits.
But you are young
Heart
you are still foolish,
and beckon him out of the blizzard
to hibernate within the cup of your ribs
until the spring thaw.
At night you keep him
close as a scar,
promises weeping from his tongue,
scarlet in your ear,
translucent in your mouth
like memories,
like omens.
He warned you
didnít he?

Michael Boccardo