16: Feb 2017 #05 - Enigma Machines

Authored by Steven Licardi

Enigma Machines

by Steven Licardi

My DNA was constructed from forked, binary tongues,
the Morse code of typewriter keys,
like Fred Astaire’s feet,
tapping out fairytales to my zygote.
Has anyone ever been able to capture the sound of disappointment?
You can hear a pin drop in the atriums of an empty heart,
but I guess no one ever told you
how silence can kill.

I have heard 10,000 symphonies exploding
in the span of your long pauses,
waiting with baited breath
to feel a nibble from your interred affections.

Some nights,
I dream of conversations
yearned for while seated on subway trains,
sipping coffee
that never tastes the same
as how you fixed it.
I take it the way you won’t take me back:
half-and-half, bittersweet.
I caught a glimpse of the nape of your neck
and swear I felt my soul leap out of my skin,
travel gravel distances,
only to transcend regret
inside your navel.

I thought I French-kissed those selfsame tongues
that flicked my double helix into shape,
a spiral staircase skyward,
pining to get you on your back
and paint a Sistine Chapel on the ceiling.

This is the upper echelon of our make-believe,
the mythology we have written
in codes
too precious
to crack.