Justin Ehrlich

Sweet Dreams

Her ghost flapped in the midnight oil

Alarmed by clamorous

Knells ringing patiently, I combed

The webs of spurious

Dream substance from my forehead, bright

Strings smouldered on my hands

As I picked up the telephone,

Her shallow breathing grinds

Through the white noise... 'I'm sorry if

I woke you but I'd like

To see you one more time before

These pills I've swallowed take

The strength from my lungs.' I said, 'I'm

So glad you called, I can't

Wait to see you.' The haggard door

Creaked open; I lost count

Of the directions of her eyes,

The egg whites harmonized

Intuitively with her flesh

Of faded primrose dyes;

She fell down and said, 'It's okay

I never land on my head.'

Her willowy frame draped about

My arms on the way to bed,

I set her down and couldn't let

Go; She talked of the small

Things seriously and explained

Them in detail, and all

The while I listened carefully,

And understood, and held

Her silently; She said nice things

Discreetly and compelled

Me to shine brightly, when her heart

Of dancing phosphorous

Exploded from her eyes, she died

In plumes of Hesperus.


I dig my claws

Into the earth beneath

The blossom of your impressions,

When night has fallen

Miniature shoots grow

In the sunlight of concentration

And climb around my fingertips;

Curious purple grapes

Ripened, and as I rolled

Them on my tongue,

Obscene patterns emerged

In the intricate

Lifeline of the tendrils;

Fearfully I tugged

At them but they clung

To my flesh loyally,

And I could not separate

Myself from the gnarled


Of your intentions.

Justin Ehrlich © 2010


On the velvet

Precipice of slumber

Exotic murmurings

Trickle in my ear and spill

The moment I turn my attention.

With one eye opened,

I blamed myself

For all manner of suspicion;

Quaint peninsulars

Of luminous algae

Emerged from the damp

Patches on my pillowcase,

Mosquitoes hatched like particles

of a shattered light bulb,

Rallying in the aftermath

Of an electrical storm.

I rolled over abruptly

And refused to scratch my neck.


In my prayers

I gambled with the devil

And counted the winnings

Of every form of madness;

The scars of reason

Floated before my eyes

In burning patches

Scored by the lovers gaze

Of a sphinxlike sun.

As I scraped lifeless ash

From pregnant tear ducts

Darkness crumbled

From a ruinous moon,

And I swam intoxicated

In the sea of samsara.

When I woke

On the sodden mattress

Of a citrine shore,

I felt like a different

Person; recalling

My hallucinations

With feelings of tenderness.

Justin Ehrlich © 2010