futility — brent mitchell


It occurred to him that human speech
is a piquant spiral falling
into phrases and rays of bright breath, like neon in cold mist
as he sprang to his feet, and inhaled.
But the bitten portion was left to desiccate in the desert heat.
Skeins of light and skins of wine to accompany the meat
were apportioned to the ruby throated hummingbirds.
They aimed their needle beaks at the flower petals of his ears,
and he cringed at the deafening purr of their wings.
Taking no chances the branches blossomed, and the roots reached
deeper into the cup
where the shine had been blanched
to a sweet crisp edge with sesame oil.
The stone came untangled from the heroine’s lash
and broke upon the shore
just before the celebration commenced.
And strange, though it has been written,
his breath dissipated into the last uncovered manhole
And was carried gloriously through sewer currents
like a Scythian vessel
into Thracian, urine-sample Dixie cups.
And upon them was inscribed the intimation
of an echoing cacophony
in letters tattooed upon her snow white skin
—plush as rabbit’s fur.
For as he reached under the table
for the precious words he had so
painstakingly selected and artfully gift-wrapped,
she spoke,
broke the awkward silence,
and the moment was lost forever.


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