Church & The Fool by Brad Beau Cohen

Updated: Jun 17

Poetry by Brad Beau Cohen, Published by BERLINABLE


0 - The Fool

I visited the cliff and dove into the ink. See the splashes in this book. I wasn’t drowning myself, but the Fool that used to play inside me. He wore a t-shirt and shorts made from wallpaper with 70‘s geometric shapes. As we hit the water he hugged me tighter and smiled a heartbroken crack. Every bruise on his boy body was once a kiss.

His bruises were camouflaged by the navy, but I knew they were there.

I felt them more than he did. I didn’t come to the jump lightly - I spent six months kneeling over the Fool trilling out to everyone for help. But no one would touch him. Some crimes can be contracted, and the Fool was a gay boy covered in nicotine stains, petrol and cum. In the sixth month, The Fool crawled out from my chest and onto my back. His scabby arms cut my lips, the oil on his face gave mine acne, and his ripeness was a rot with a hint of rose soap. Every time I turned around we were face-to-face and reflected in his eyes was a neon vacancy sign. Choking me he’d whisper threatening stories about crashed cars, suicide and someone’s daddy being taken away. He had forgot the times he swam with Gran and ate cheesy chips. I couldn’t carry him any longer. I hope you understand. He was a dripping cape that broke my shoulders and bent my knees. I wrap my hands around his neck and hope the fish will teach him how to play again.


Church

Wall to mantel the choirs of statues blaze, but no virgin’s glare could annul our sermon. Blow argent smoke from your mouth, a pink and porcelain censer. Grey curls bloom in amber light from the street lamp, ghost lilies in our urban Eden. A drop gives in and plays lead on the glass stained by our breath. Newborn, my arms hang from your shoulders, ankles crossed with yours. Your chin prickles my forehead. We are a carnal crucifix. Blood-rust rings from my glass brand a triquetra on your stomach: still tense. Five disciples stroke my scalp, run through the sweat-knot scourge. My knees weep on the ivory-white sheet from my last pillow-less confession. Silent in your possession, an echoing hymn of exhalation. Your communion is a spatter on the mattress, already soaked in. Cool constellations on my calf. Here in our sanctuary, there’s a murmuring crusade, their huffing organs a dirge to grind against. A few muted thuds from upstairs. Our voyeur above enjoyed the show.

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