4th HOUR

The wind draws your laughter
between the branches
of a Judas tree
and waits for night to fall
my arms carve a circle
around cold shoulders
and the day falls into the sun
escaping shadows
honed by clock hands and light bulbs

A door opens and the world
walks in with lost feet
the rest are burning
like frightened children
nothing gets through
the hole in my eye
silhouettes seize names
along the brows of curtained windows
where betrayal is held
like a pair of dice
in the palm of a hand
as they roll
a coded testament
of what is to come

From a ballroom of empty chairs
I drift beneath watery hours
and unbuttoned passages
of smoke and jazz
stretched out before me
on notes of neon air
on the lips of those who drink laughter
from the mouth of a saxophone
and drum wings over quicksilver streets

Sparks leap from the tin can ashes of a nightmare
amusing children who crouch like spiders on sidewalks
listening to street messiahs
hallelujah in the early hours
reciting be-bop notes under the white lip
of a half-eaten moon