Robert Rorabeck

Bronze Star - 2,195 Points (04/10/1978 / Berrien Springs)

Empty Bottle - Poem by Robert Rorabeck

I throw my empty bottles down into the grave,
The shattered glass of a baby’s cradle;
The things which always fall so far from trees:
The punji sticks are whispering,
Their cleft palates whistling in their orphanage
So far down below, where the quartet of my uncles sing
The stolen enjambments of the black men and their cottonmouths.
This is the pit where the hungry tigers prowl,
Disguised by a beautiful sky so far away-
The clouds are blooming to their orchestras,
And soldiers died in their campaigns are resurrected
As the birds who busy in their migrations:
This is the opera where she gypsies across the world,
And her footsteps are the weather which glazes the pots
Of men, the discombobulated crowd bumping together
In the trances of their empire; foolishly they fall
In love with her nude horizons,
The expulsions of nimble cannons in her storms,
The way she sheaths their eyes in her dewy draughts,
And swishes off the oriental perfumes of hidden spikenard;
Not meaning to lead them on, they fall for her anyways;
And now down in the pit we loom together like injure birds,
Fluttering against the tigers’ smile,
As she sweeps across the lantern moon.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 1, 2008

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