Black Caps

Art Credit: Francis Bacon
Art Credit: Francis Bacon

At the crest of the city

Lies the now quiet park,

Where Love lost His mind

And nearly killed us both.


I laughed when the vibrant kites spiraled toward my cheek.

As the ladybugs told their jokes

And my sun-steeped limbs danced with the clouds.


I could still taste the bitter, black caps

In the rising majesty of sights and sounds,

Cool water calmed my mild nausea

Tucking me in for an afternoon of sensory delights.


Until I saw it—

His face.


Eyes agape with the shriek of a twisted secret,

Thin, blue rims punctured by the bleak, black caps

Scurrying over the grass with

Vacant abandon.


Disjointed shards of thought

Gushing from a sick-crusted mouth.

And His posture, once familiar,

Now desolate—

A befouled alley strewn with broken glass.


His limbs stiff in self-protection,

Throwing erratic blows to fight

Shifting specters along desultory paths.


“Can’t you see the kites, Love?”

I begged.

“No. It’s all an Inferno,”

He replied with the curdling rip of alienation.


I stood witness to His imagined torture

My fragmented faith walking the razor’s edge between

Hospital and Home,

And looked again into the stormy, dark caps of His eyes

For an answer.


He shot down the hill in terror

To crush His delusions

Under the merciful tires of traffic below.


My body resisted seeping between the verdant blades

And my feet took flight.


Vomit dripping from the picnic blanket

As I finally reached His quaking hand and

Guided our four heavy, labored legs down

Stained sidewalks and steep curbs

Into Our house on the old, familiar street corner.


“You’re going to be fine.”

“I am?”

“You are.”

“I am?”

“Yes, you are. Don’t worry. It will be over soon. I love you so much.”

“I am.”

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