The archived rite returns in gothic gray:
by William F Dougherty
a bruise-dark sky, a blunt and tugging rain,
a sheen of black umbrellas, spaded clay.
The camera obscura, mind, ingrains
his father’s plot; and next, to seal her pain,
within three months, his mother’s sudden grave;
a delved dominion sears the turf again.
Nothing breaks the burlaped afternoon, save
when lightning cleaves the murk. Magnesium
klieg lights stun the monochrome, a dumb
tableau: the mind is cued, replays the stark
and smarting slides on memory’s screen. Surreal
and jerky frames project from a silent reel,
expose a membraned refuge caved in dark.