the muse apprentice guild
--expanding the canon into the 21st century




THREE WORKS
BY BRENT BECHTEL

WHEN ONE BECOMES ANOTHER

One shoelace untied,
the other rough and dirty.
Those shoes were already
four years old and dusty,
as you sat beside me
and lightly kicked
at my feet.

"Look at the little specks
of pollen," I said,
gazing at the shiny railing.
"The wind has been
blowing so much lately,"
I said, as I leaned
and brushed the blue
arm of your jacket.

But you did not smile.
Your lips would have snarled
if they had had the energy.
"Look at the squirrel,
what is he eating?" I said,
but you dimmed your eyes.

They used to shine.

"Your hands are still soft,"
I said, holding your fingers
along my palm.

"You know I miss
the quiet moments
when you are away," I said.

What do miss?"

and then

You brushed a burr
off of your blue jeans.

================

UNTITLED

what color of hair you held
or what shadow of eye you suffered
or what carpet of beige you tread
while cherries split and bled in a bowl
pits and mangled skins stuck to the sides
or what tree of brown and crisp branch
or what terrace of rusted iron
or what stick of red lips
continued on your fingers or your nails?

================

LET US DRINK, FOR THERE IS LOVE

footsteps signal joy
the creak across floorboards
from where you once stood
the morning was brazen gold
in your hair
as love shone
along the edges
of your cheeks
and this day
our embrace
is eternal
and pure

================

LET US DRINK, FOR THERE IS DEATH

footsteps signal sadness
vacant rooms strewn
with solemn quiet breaths
dry air deeper than dark
and the pages of a book
crisply break closed
as unease embraces
my belly in fear
I peel the rind
from an orange
and partaking
of its flesh
find more comfort
than I ever shall
in you again