Confucian Cockscomb

This poem had a lot of heart and potential, but deserved more attention, so I decided to rework it with the help of a friend and post it again. I hope you find the message even more powerful and the lines more impactful than before. Cheers.

I sat cramped
crowded among the clouds
connecting countries,
collecting highway stamps
like filthy coins in plastic
wrappers the size of condoms,
and feeling more and more trapped
like life is one short onramp.

Surrounded by a swarm of silver
cars sputtering by
a few inches at a time
and white-walled campers,
skyscrapers on all sides,
blocking my view of the cockscomb sun-
that rooster roars each morning
feathers fall out in fury
from his fearless, philandering sides.
Prideful and pitiful, red dawn cockscomb
leaving me wigless on a masquerade road
wearing ruffled tunnels and lace turnstiles,
a vacation frosted grey,
the ghost sky keeps pushing me away
with muffled, puffy eyes.

The same I’ve been crusted in
under this irregular cockscomb sun.
Hungover between highway lanes,
worshipped by white mountain women
wearing striped G-strings, duty-free dancing
on our ancestor’s maypole; the
gear shifts of morality malfunctioning.

And there beside me
the cockscomb grin of a man
with emerald eyes for stem.
He held my breath for me
and photographed equally
all seasons and shades of beauty
creating cosmic harmony.
Shifting with the light.
Shifting just right.
Shifting gears and lanes and speeds.
Shifting me in ways that pleased.
I’d never seen beauty as asymmetrical.
The blend of red, orange and yellow,
a halo, and whether we reached our destination
or remained one on the road,
I would be perfectly bound
by the spiky borders
of the golden rule:
do others, as you
would have them do you.

© khartless 2021, All Rights Reserved

June 15th episode of LNP’s After Midnight with Rex&Pam
Inspired by: Sunflower Sutra by Alan Ginsberg
Artwork: Cockscomb Garden by Sook Kim


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