Flakes of Oil

(From my novel Within the Bosom)

Oil in flakes, dripping;
clattering against the floor,
making little rattling sounds
like the toenails of mice on hardwood
or dried leaves bouncing off a glass pane in the wind.
Joy as salt, stinging;
tumbling into old wounds,
burning away afterthoughts
like a matchstick just doused on bare skin
or foul bile seeping from a once-lost desperate
Soul in dust, weeping;
coughing away dry tears,
blowing out the tiny grains
like the spores of mushrooms in autumn
or warm days breathing free, alone, not desolate