Bishoprics, Bailiffs, & Bards

i. bishoprics

The faithful hid their bibles in the walls-
crowded with silvery cobwebs, and dust
clouding the burned reflections of the glass
rosary beads, all left uncounted.

Lovers, go on loving, while
poets scribbled sonnets into the
tanned parchment pages of
their prayer books.

Priests sleep in closed off rooms,
their silken voices rising aflame
like the wick of their solitary candle
alters; palms enshrined in a gesture
intertwining dead words made to
entertain the doppelgangers awaiting
their frightful turn in the tower.

The diocese dies -
lovers
love deeply

emulating dark haired Catholicism as
is besets the red haired protestants with
their pageantries of glorious virginity.

The Avon turns it's body
quickly backward; the poets pine
prettily in epiphany for their lord.

ii. bailiffs

The bailiff often stands with a key in hand,
keeping the walls imprisoned in the tower,

or the flesh rotting like thin parchment,

machicolations narrow
for the arrow of war, these
men dream of the hyperbolic
symmetry of displaced stones,

exposed,
as any infant thought disfigured,

left
alone
to die
on the mountain top.

Someone's arms curl into a hollow shell;
fingers snapping, knuckles relaxed,

the lovers hide in the cemetery,
whisper well-wishes to the dead, or
just anyone who came before them.

iii. bards

He wore a pirate earring - as was the fashion
of the moment, enacted as a reenacting actor
kissing boys on stage, played the ghost of Hamlet,
as later scholars would call himself Hamlet, as in
an inside joke, or well-disfigured disembodied forethought,
an out of body experience exhausted by religion
and well mannered courtly love as it was thrown aside,
caution went with the candle sticks into the atriums
of shareholders, old men haunting the basements and the
attics of plays meant to be played by dead men,

a never ending frivolity, as though
epilogues were fashionable when their
women were passionate enough to hold
your attention long enough to speak just a
few more lines,

of time
of space,

and who were your lovers? And were your
words your words, or someone else's body
mimicking your face? As in, a queen is a clown, or
a ghost is a son, fatherless, or that same father,
fucking boys or girls, and sonnets sucking the life
out of you in the middle of the night with questioning

and that same inside joke,
that broke your history apart like
a clam shell,
the fate that befell you,
the coil of toil
double-surmounted,
amount of devotion uncounted.