John Warner Smith

An Artist Reflects on His Creations

for Xzavion

I don’t name the ones outside
my mirrors, left to drift,
knocking on my doors,
peeking through papery walls

and wooden beams, shuttered
from my memory
to their dying breaths,
the ones I bruise

who break and fall then rise
from the blackened abyss
wearing faces my shadow sheds
to stalk my bedlam dreams,

the ones smitten by light,
who grow to bloom
nobly and picturesque,
sparkling in the city squares,

praying in a thousand tongues
that shatter the cathedral glass.
I name the brown ones,
color them alabaster

to make a pond
reflect a leafy canopy
in a Sunday Picnic painting
that can’t color pain

of a child in the tree house.
I call him Xzavion,
blood of my blood,
flesh of my flesh,

living inside my mirrors,
doors and tearing walls,
my hammering hands
writing a dark song of rage.