Behind The Black Petals of Time

Behind the Black Petals of Time

To Frances

Daughter: it must be the first minute
Of the new year forever.
Everything dwells under neon lights
Where everybody seems to be,
Hanging their faces pierced by the moon.
Now, perhaps, we should talk less metallic,
More immense messages to be defenseless
Upon our space. But there is another world for us.
There is the sound of crystal
Under masks guided by orphic,
Moist hands never to be silent;
And still they dance until dawn.
Yet dawn is falling in the palm of their dreams
Like a nuclear holocaust.
The sphinx of man is suffocating
One second after the gesture of hate.
      Oh, your hands carry the sweetest blood of poetry.
Now we should be
In the exact point of a miracle,
But mankind is also here
Like a black angel dispersing his curse,
Unhinged, before all sobbing winds.
      Your eyes are so sweet
      That freedom has applied
      Their meaning to its rainbow.
      Your days are short but profound
      Like a storm of tenderness shaking our veins.
Beware, there will be days
When the sky will shed is lead
To install the burning fright of sorrow.
Stand taller then, for behind the black petals of the calendar
Your depth will find, break
Through these and other shadows.
Let your smile blind me now,
I shall be your steps, your shield, your tears.

Rafael Román Martel (1-1-1988)

First Place 11th Annual NJ Poetry Contest, March 1988


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