Face to Face

by Marcus Slease

God is a creased forehead,
a laminated eye.

Only heroes draw his innards.

The horror of escaped air confounds.

Hours burn into swollen pillows.

The lame whistle far and wee.

The paneled walls
will crumble.

There is no face to face,
only sandpaper on naked skin.

Two-second splashes, then
concentric circles.

A view from the window will not stop
the ship from sinking.
God’s creased forehead
folds back into brain matter.

A pre-chewed gumball lodged in the skull.

We keep eating
whole continents of regret.

Fat sighs pinning us in place.

A merry-go-round absolves
my continuous stare.

It’s the interior chain that keeps giving.

So, the traffic shifts suddenly.
So, the night mounts a war I will never win.
So, stupid moon, deaf birds in empty hallways.

Wax from toy soldiers bleeding on light bulbs.
Meatloaf of troubled heart, soggy and pink.

Desire is a blind man rapping his cane against my shins.
The church closes its metal tongue on my outstretched hand.
Thirst of the vacuum never fills.

The alpha wagers words; the omega erects a wall of syllables.

Every flash is magnetic for the bodiless God.
Framed by cracks in the horizon.
Succubus of language.
Is it a cloak or rug, I cannot tell.

Heaven is a silent solipsism.

Transitory tranquility
a double-edged word.
among broken eggshells.

My house: walled-up in a dream.
My love: a cancelled check to an unknown God.

Marcus Slease was born and raised in Portadown, N. Ireland. Currently, he teaches Existentialism to freshmen at UNC Greensboro. Recent poetry has appeared (or is forthcoming) in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Conduit, Columbia Poetry Review, Diagram, Gut Cult, Typo, Milk, Shampoo, Spork, and Octopus.