Christopher Michael, gay, gay poetry

Reliquary

Reliquary

a place to store the sacred bones and fragments
of cloth or other precious memento mori
of saints and martyrs, and of ourselves
bits and pieces chopped out of my existence
a place to hide my hidden treasures
my loves and hurts, secrets taking to the grave
a place to put aside remnants hidden
from your eyes, mine as well
a place to sanctify that which was holy
a place to lock away secrets the
heart does not utter, but feels deeply
resurrects painfully, often in dreams
a repository for the soul, what soul wants
hidden from sunlight

I take these tiny monuments (success or failure)
exposed to the camera’s naked lens
look at them for what they are worth
in gratitude return them to their secret chambers
mind you, reliquaries do not promise solace
but hint these demons taunting us need
not again air in the light of day
I flagellate and whip myself for penance, and
once done, once said, seal that in the crypt
of forgotten memories

this is my box, this is my box,
I never travel without my box
this is the box wherein lies dark treasures
I best keep hid, dark, dank and smelling of death
toting from one moment in time to the next
as with Pandora’s, so this box best kept shut
though she hastened to keep it closed, all escaped:
chaos, death, all manner of monstrous, except hope
lying at the bottom, fluttering lightly now into the air

my reliquary, secrets and lies, holds my persona
safe from prying eyes and vicious tongues, though
often times unable to separate truth from the fiction I
create, as painters modify reality to best serve their
interpretation of life, or movie makers distort fact
from fiction, calling it fantasy, calling it art, calling
it anything but modified truth

lastly, then, what is truth? does it exist even in
the moment it happens? one says this occurred
the other strongly differs, another interpretation
another’s point of view
truth, then, lies beneath the surface a
struggling winged dragon, a beast of burden
tilling the ground of my being
now put asunder his manifesto and
declare a simple truce betwixt truth and lie

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