Let me take
This opportunity
To tell you
What won’t come true;

Those dreams
And teenage ambitions
We believed
Would help us escape –

That poetry
Straight from the heart
And paintings
Losing their answers

Among colors
Stressed and faded
On a canvas
Stroked too weak

After years
Of slaving away
When believing
Lies were essential

While pretending
Our fates intended
Could somehow
Appear out of air

Like a portrait
Missing in frame
Still the picture
Lacking distinction

As an image
Blended with silence
And colors safe
Without voice,

Camouflaged
Though they remain
Apparent to some
Who can witness

Expression
Freer than wisdom
Which determines worth
Beyond death

Lasting
Unlike our jobs
But akin to bonds
We establish

Between each person
Agreeing
This need to love
Is divine

Where it speaks
Through art as our faith
Fulfilling hope
Left neglected

Even if fighting
Defenseless
Alone and knowing
We’ve lost.

– J. Pigno

I’m dawdling
Across this page
As if we had never
Written
Or declared
Such words indecent
Before these eyes
Can shame

Our phrases
Joined at hips
Like poems
Said in tandem
Where worship
Places commas
Between what lives
Get read

Through naked truths
Proclaimed
From the mouth
Of talking devils
Whose idle minds
Unquestioned
Go dreaming lies
Out loud

Believing love
Was made
For the sake
Of cunning linguists
With silver tongues
Demanding
Their lust
Stay florid prose

And pain
That open book
While clauses hang
Indifferent
Between each sentence
Waiting
For reasons
Well explained

How flesh
Is much like verse
And print
My only answer
If sex
Still begs the question
Do lazy hearts
Hurt most?

– J. Pigno

Below that tree
She lays
In the shadow
Of nearby awnings
Beneath
Two massive windows
Like eyes
Among cultured stone

Where feathers
Between each blade
Of grass
Still wet from morning
Cradle
Her empty vessel
Which housed
Such delicate life

When once
They opened big
And welcomed air
As freedom
To dare these skies
Their limits
While soaring
Beyond those clouds

Crashing
Within our tracks
Through chance
So unexpected
Speaking of
Fallen natures
For men whose wings
Stay gold

And tell
How futures last
Not long
Until we witness
This fading thrill
Of fortune
Land harshly
On new ground

Since money
Just can’t save
What God himself
Distinguished
At the hands
Of innocent suffering
To teach old birds
They’re wrong.

– J. Pigno

We just keep
Forgetting God
As if he had
Never listened
To these prayers
Which see us living
Through their words
Still feeling wrong

Like each breath
A steep expense
For believing
Empty answers
In our hands of
Failing science
Trying hard
To prove Him gone

And agree
How faith is dead
On behalf
Of mortal wisdoms
Killing kindness
From obsession
With the proof
Some call disgust

Like contempt
At having grace
While salvation
Seems transparent
Behind pulpits
Pledging freedoms
Though we slave
For missing souls

Losing hope
Near every chance
Seeking truth
Within some office
Working late
And never sleeping
Hiding dreams
Inside our heads

Knowing angels
Call us still
Beyond tasks
Of futile purpose
Drawing meaning
Where there isn’t
Giving signs
Which whisper love

Pledging art
As divine will
And this flesh
Its holy vessel
To commit
What acts inspire
Or redeem
From showing zeal

For expression
Making sense
Out of madness
Called existence
Fallen far
Among old demons
Trying new tricks
To distract.

– J. Pigno

I just bleed
To narrow it down
Using terms
You’d understand
Speaking flesh
Cut from this sentence
Like my words
Made open wounds

And old scars
Left written down
For these eyes
Which follow torment
Bearing witness
Through their glances
Across pages
Splashed with death

Fearing paper
Has no end
But what phrases
Stay unfinished
At the whim
Of lying poets
Whose sole purpose
Is relief

From such hurt
These verses claim
Show our flaws
Or given weakness
Hiding devils
Within details
Still revealed
To be their truths

If exposed
From sudden breaks
Like one bruise
That’s always swollen
Using pauses
As examples
To tell stories
Between lines

Squeezing hope
Where fate is dense
Finding God
By pen and failure
Begging lifetimes
Fit in margins
When all grammar
Kills us fast.

– J. Pigno

Some nights
I just can’t breathe
From a pulse
Which keeps me awake
Throbbing
Inside my center
Felt along each vein
Grown tense
Within this neck
Left stiff
Among pillows
Thick and strangling
Smothering air
In comforts
So plush
Their touch could kill
While stealing dreams
Intense
By which my life
Is threatened
And dangling
Just above me
On these ceilings
Dark with fear
Where white
Is imminent death
And such cracks
Their sullen reminders
How my art
Has fallen victim
To a dependent sleep
Disturbed
When phrases race
With hearts
And morning words
Are wasted
To convince this mind
Its worthy
Of some truth
Beyond its sun
And life
Outside my bed
Like one prison
Soft and waiting
Each evening
I rise startled
Still gasping
For that chance.

– J. Pigno

My heart swells
When I look
At that rare
Yet infinite smile
Spread gently
From cheek to cheek
Across your
Glittering face
With dabs of
Heavenly pink
So bright
Between your dimples
In true and definite
Passion
Of this soul
Which speaks
My name –

What real
And miraculous
Fortune
To believe
You’re certainly
Mine.

– J. Pigno