Blackberry winter, Orpheus plays

June 29, 2008
By Baobao Zhang, Alexandria, VA

Quando ver venit meum?

Just black on black come ruination day:
the weary sexton tolls with trembling hands
to chime Ol’ Death’s fanfare ‘cross the wasteland
of Tennessee.

Mourning, Orpheus plays.

A crazed fiddle against the crackling dawn
pricks bitter silence like a soulless awl—
each draw hovering between ravens’ calls.

Weep you, the artifice of fleeting song!

Come, come, veiled kites of grey Persephone
and bless your bride in her spoiled virgin gown:
Let ivory lace turn to shades ghastly brown,
bounteous food for worms’ cacophony.

what gods or saints shall hear this madding plea,
chilled with April frost and tossed on teary sea?

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