Alkahest

Wrought from a recess of danger, a sheath of evil
clung to it like a birth-veil, warning of its penchant,
nothing so innocent as a bed of clay mingled with sun
but a seed without root straying and aloof,
hounded by destiny in a tension
doomed to be written in the barrenness of a race.

This blood ran hot, coursing in distorted instinct,
the dexterity of the hands poured of black alloy
into the image, inset with pitiless eyes;
its intransigence a halo of sacrificed blessings,
rabid until the finches arrived, brindled and red
in their pageant through the chain-linked borders.

What does it mean to have your heart bruised with sky?
Is it death’s contusion sweetening as it grows?
The advantage of this being went out to meet the shadow
where nests blend with the thicket’s intimate flutings
and a single curled leaf is the vestibule of underworlds—
intention hemorrhaged when the gnat turned to gold.

(c) Seth Grube