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opium smells pretty

by Angela Stevens

When asked of death I see the black poppy,
as a telescope abandoned, wonder how every
form seems skeletal in starlight, night time
structure blossoming in the pull.

the waves heralding angels, every crushing
moment forces us to jolt and so swallow
words without ever learning meanings,
the seafront in dark colours is terrifying.

I’m the only one waiting for the static
wipeout, the stopstart that will send out the
image of the earth as a withered cemetery,
counting crows jumping from white heights.

The graves are already dug and lined, silently
we wait to fall the small distance left, no pieces
of requiem coughed up from the flood will deliver
any comfort, tragic hand-in-hand hurry between us.

The earth reverses, pauses and while hanging its
head will call the moon down and whisper failings
to it, rocking it to sleep, halting fear before the
blazes start up and turn everything to a pale chalk.

My own brief love affair with the world is over
and I’m left imagining the immeasurable quantities
of nothing, even in our dying hour the beauty of
our declining screamed orchestration resounds.


Posted on 07/11/2011
Copyright © 2023 Angela Stevens

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Mo Couts on 07/11/11 at 08:04 PM

Ooohhh, I like it! I've heard that it tastes like purple (from friends who've tried it) and this poem could totally make me see that =)!

Posted by Adele Cameron on 07/12/11 at 05:39 AM

beautiful language.

Posted by Jim Benz on 08/12/11 at 03:47 AM

I like this

Posted by Meghan Helmich on 08/17/11 at 04:00 PM

That's the only thing pretty about opium, trust me.

Posted by Laura Doom on 03/31/14 at 11:43 PM

...and a telescope reversed, a peaceful nightmare lapping at a distant friendship...fragrant...

Posted by Jody Pratt on 05/13/14 at 04:53 AM

You grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me at, " wonder how every form seems skeletal in starlight," and blazed an eternal branding on my soul with, "even in our dying hour the beauty of our declining screamed orchestration resounds." I am impressed with this through and through. Evaporate the opium reference and still be left awe stricken at this vivid determination for the world.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 12/02/19 at 04:28 PM

Thought provoking...moving vocabular arrangement.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 12/02/19 at 08:32 PM

And congrats on POTD!

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