Two poems

by Ed Higgins


I cut myself. Often. The bloodslice like thin lips parted

in prayer. The supplication in the rise of blood. Pink

at first, feeding quickly on oxygen to implausible scarlet.

Beautiful as the dark wine we take for Communion. Holy

as Christ's own blood blessed in the chalice and sipped

for our sins. Forgive/me/Father/forgive/me/for I have sinned.

And my blood soft and warm sealing the wound slowly, slowly.

Some dripping into the porcelain-white sink, later washed to the sea

forgiving all the earth. But there is never enough forgiveness

in just one cutting, so I will take this tiniest of suffering unto

my own flesh again and again. The madness of the razor

cutting to the altar of my bones, below the softness of my arms

reaching out for God.



You feel terrible sometimes

life's color drained to ashen

as the old world spins, pirouettes

like a circus dog on the back

of a galloping horse. Icarus,

ass-over backwards dripping

hot wax and scattered feathers

through gray piling clouds,

falling into Brueghel's heedless

sea while Auden tells us (un)amazingly

how the white legs disappear into

the green water as indifference

sails calmly on. Your unwanting

as constant as dreams you feel

guilty for. Hoping for the thick

wool of love's unraveled touch.

Losing the drifting fright

of needing, needing, needing.