After the Carnage
By Tom Daley

Venus and Jupiter colluding
in the cool tureen of the summer solstice.

And the killer with his pageboy haircut,
resolute as dusty jewels or red pepper,

the myrrh of his indignation
preserving the farewell shock

in the irises of his intended.
His hole-filled, diverted eyes rotting

the fabric of the tabernacle.
His mad infusion of ideology

and skitter cricket. Crossing
state lines like an errant thermometer,

a lightning strike rousing
all the humid vigils of Africa.

Devil caught in mid-air
when his parachute failed to open.

Angel of the supremacist inkwells,
bleached into the battle flag

which stays at full mast
while the crescent moon

numbs its horns,
gnomic and consequential.

Tom Daley’s poetry has appeared in Harvard Review, Massachusetts Review, 32 Poems, Fence, Denver Quarterly, Crazyhorse, Barrow Street, Prairie Schooner, Witness, Poetry Ireland Review and elsewhere. Recipient of the Dana Award in Poetry and the Charles and Fanny Fay Wood Prize from the Academy of American Poets, he is the author of two plays, Every Broom and Bridget—Emily Dickinson and Her Irish Servants and In His Ecstasy—The Passion of Gerard Manley Hopkins, which he performs as one-man shows. FutureCycle Press published his first-full length collection of poetry, House You Cannot Reach—Poems in the Voice of My Mother and Other Poems, in the summer of 2015. He leads writing workshops in the Boston area and online for poets and writers working in creative prose.