Ice on the River


The dreaded crossing

of that damnable Delaware.


Rowing and shivering all night.

A war of “treason”

on Christmas Day

to get to Trenton

by early majestic morn—

a surprise attack at daylight.


But to a child—

an expert on color—

war is a red stain on white.


Bayonets in hand.

Marching through the mud

with the saving grace of memories

of a clean shave,

Sally Brown with her yellow bonnet,

worshipping in her wooden pew,

and the wind,

wafting the dreamy scent of apple pies

(on window sills) down the country road

where farmers’ only foe

is rocky, arid soil.


The smoke of canons

obscures the delicious thrill of victory.


I am drunk. I am dirty. I am dizzy.

Stray bullets slip passed me

faster than I can write.

This flag. That flag.

Which is which?

And which is right?


Hundreds of years later,

I can still sense the smoke in my lungs.

X-rays show I have multiple tumors,

the size of musket balls

I can taste when I breathe and cough.


Blood in my saliva is my tribute

to the expired letters never sent

of soldiers in the ground—

Loyalists’ battles almost won

and Patriots’ battles almost lost.


Vampires as a whole mock the celebration of Christmas on December 25th, knowing that it’s merely a placeholder on the Julian calendar. But don’t mistake these vampires for blood-sucking atheists. They believe wholeheartedly in the power of Jesus’s blood. They observe Maundy Thursday as the most important day of the year. Conversely, on that day, true believers partake of the sacrament of communion as Christ showed them what it truly means to be devoted to God and to each other. But for these hideous creatures, the body and blood of Christ are a means to an end of survival. They believe Jesus to be the last prophet in “the order of Cain” these last 1,500 years, to save them from one called “the Impaler.”

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“When I was ambitiously young,

looking to grow my Nebu brand

and my Chaldean kingdom,

prophecy struck:

“an invisible hand hewed a rock

from the Mountain

that struck the base of the fountain

that raised to life a statue

with metal alloys and clay parts.

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A strap hangs off her missing shoulder—

a pragmatic prostitute at a makeshift bordello

where there are no curfews,

rules or chores

only dark alleys and cardboard boxes

to claim and explore…

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