Dreaded Whispers

Strokes of moonlight smother
the inflorescent
whispers of the smoke bush –

fighting, but wavering against twilight’s
ghostly dreams,
it drapes the water,
pondering depth and death,

and, whereupon streaks of my childhood run
wildly ‘til they bleed into the perfect pink wash –
disrupted only briefly by daubs of
my more morbid notions –

a thousand indigo butterflies
dotted like inky death
become pinned to the eerie flatness of still water
and life –

finally, my drowning memories
are absorbed by stagnant fluid –
the whispers are hushed in the black, dead air
where mosquitoes live instead,
and for the first time, I begin to thrive.