Poem: Charcoal

This one is from the archives and seems a world away. I wrote this in 2007 when I was fascinated by articles in newspapers or magazines that didn’t make the front page. They were interesting notes on the human condition.

Charcoal Dust by Aleathia Drehmer

The prospect of sleep is dangerous 
and unpredictable legs moving, 
his body like a ghost in the night.
Eyes blind and turned,
brain awakened to faces hovering
on the underside of lids.

His control is stripped naked and still, 
nimble feet traverse steep stairs
leading to small dark spaces.
Crouching in the corner,
a filthy cur with face in high fever,
lines streaming from fingertips
stained in thick black charcoal.

In the light, sheets are twisted 
about legs in sailor’s knots,
he finds women’s faces,
arms, legs, breasts, lips etched
into paper with delicate, intimate precision.

The only evidence of his dissonance
witnessed by ebony fingers
and a throbbing skull.

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