Midnight in the Valley
The Gibbous dangles lo in the denim sky,
a wealthy hand showing a coin to a beggar.
It is midnight in the valley,
and pillows await tired minds.
The bed sheets are clean and wanting,
but there is no time for sleep
in the abodes beyond the valley head.
The clergyman hangs his divinity robes,
his undergarments soon to follow,
as he disappears into the tiled undergrowth
of his prized throne, his inner sanctum
his true fantasies manifesting.
His followers beg and pray
but he cannot, will not, answer.
Executives brood in silence,
thinking of the best corners to cut
as they tame their bottom line.
Thinking is easy in opulence.
His day assistant places an ice pack
over the head of her feverish son,
for it’s all that she can afford.
The doctor’s oath is framed
o’er his propane insert fireplace.
A patient perished in his care
but his hands have long been washed.
In the valley, the patient’s wife weeps
the daughter sobs, the dog chews a toy
missing the thrill of chasing it.
In darkened bedrooms, children dream
of phantoms rising from their graves.
Bony, brittle bodies that bellow, and
demons that mock, gesticulate.
But real monsters don’t hide in coffins,
tombs, or plots. They smile and say they care,
as they stuff bones in their closets.
The Gibbous rises higher in the lavender sky,
the wealthy hand has pulled away.
The optimist sun tells us we’re the same,
but the moon shows us that we aren’t.
The valley descends too deep
so that voices rebound and echo.
The stars only twinkle from afar.
In sunlit halls under cloudy plaster
was our adolescence spent.
If only we knew how easy it was
before we worried about rent.
Our faces belong to grizzled sages
but to our elders, naive and frayed.
Our resumes the envoy of our lives
flushed promptly down the drain.
We travel in V-formation
told “no bird before the other,”
but shot down from the air
by men who would betray a brother.
The Invisible Hand is clenched,
its fingers numb and cold.
Our well-being dangled ‘fore us,
it’s too risky to be bold.
A Davos man sits lonely
his heart is an ebony pit.
Cares not for future malignancy,
since he won’t be here for it.
All these thoughts rattle
in the minds of the Z.
But only the brave few
are willing to spill that tea.
Time, the cold temptress, says
“we must wait for heaven.”
But there’s a long way to go,
and this is only 27.
About the Poet
The poetry of Joshua Faulks has previously been published in Willard and Maple and Z Publishing House’s Vermont Best Emerging Poets Anthology 2019. He is currently pursuing his MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University. He lives in North Rose, NY.