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The Devil knows my name (Lethonomia)

by Richard Paez

The Devil knows my name

Speaks a wooden drum

Arthritic knuckles striking

A hollow knock

A heartbeat, a metronome

Cuts another moment

Into skin

 

I know the Devil’s face

Beautiful, disinterested,

Laughing out of turn

Frozen, a wooden mask

I take turns wearing

And being worn

 

These visions flood my mind:

Through the eyes of the Devil-mask:

My hands, blood-covered

Another’s scabs forming

On my the hair between my knuckles

 

Looking up I am mirrored, sitting

Naked, carving you carefully

From a branch of redwood

My swollen fingerprints, sandpaper

Smoothing your perfect skin,

Absorbing your perfect scent

The sanguine luster

Of your soft, translucent lacquer

I would drink you,

Luminescence, if I could

Carry you inside me, like blood,

Your water, your iron

 

Your voice in my mouth,

Strange as angels,

Laughing at the Devil

He forgets, is forgotten

From my eyes, your reflection

Your lips, my breath 

 

A hollow knock,
An echo

Call:

Lethonomia,
Remember my name

11/17/2005

Posted on 11/17/2005
Copyright © 2020 Richard Paez

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Jim Benz on 11/18/05 at 12:47 AM

I'd like the devil to forget my name, but this is a wonderful, haunting poem - so much like a delirious dream.

Posted by Sarah Graves on 11/19/05 at 09:19 PM

You bring this character right to the surface for the reader to partake of, and explore fear and consequence. Well written, and chilling to engage in such subject matter. +fav :)

Posted by Scott Cadence on 11/19/05 at 11:27 PM

"I would drink you,
Luminescence, if I could
Carry you inside me, like blood,
Your water, your iron
Your voice in my mouth,
Strange as angels."

- amazing.

Posted by A. Paige White on 12/22/06 at 04:26 AM

Yeah, he knows my name too. In two languages, at least. I wouldn't look at him though. Somebody rescued me.

Posted by Ryan Nardi on 05/27/08 at 07:14 PM

I love "take turns wearing and being worn"... it harmonizes with some philosophy I've been getting into. As separate tidbits and sections, as well as a coherent fluid piece, this really works. Great timeless quality, too.

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