4 poems published in The Opiate (print & online).

Thank you Big Time to the editors of The Opiate, & to M. Malik Crumpler, who royally encouraged me to submit!


David Leo Sirois

Heart Pigeon

(“Heart Pigeon,” drawing by iana sophia)

https://theopiatemagazine.com/2016/11/11/vanity-pigeon-by-david-leo-sirois/ (link to online poem)


The Flavor of Water


Whatever’s left of me.


These fragments I have

more than the void.

Floes holding clusters of

floating ice.


My name a vestige of

identity, that falsehood

forever cocooned in mystery.


How far away my heart’s heart –

my home & final destination,

my other mother murmured.


I glimpse a verdant island there.

Attempt to see nomad wind

as it haunts these leaves & grasses.

See myself untied.


At this moment

I wish to rise awakened

but this stolen boat

holds me by the spine.


Wooden boards

won’t let go of me.


Sudden waft of hyacinth –

scent of purple scent of pink.


Everything is melting.

Buildings trees people.

In which world do I walk

without ceasing?

A little prince

on my own planet.


A white-haired woman once

attempted to instruct me –

“Life is relationships.”

Still can’t grasp it.

Don’t believe her.


For me, poetry –

which is forbidden to

discuss in a poem –

is a planned flâneurie.


city of silence.


There are sounds,

but they take no form

inside this inchoate mind.


In these shattered

rooms of mirrors

I am nothing –

silhouette seated

at a cleared table.


What is separation but

a split from everything one

has ever known?


But I enjoy this strangeness

called ‘alone.’

Means a blur of wine time longing & song.

Cocaine & countless cigarettes with

strangers on a sidewalk bench.


Supposed poet

porting an awkward guitar, secretly stealing

Napoleon’s pointed black hat,

symbolizing being

the self-crowned emperor of



I know good people at first sight,

seeing sapphire in their eyes –

then “Cast a cold eye

on life, on death.

Horseman, pass by!”


Carved on the king of the

Celtic Twilight’s tomb.

In his heavy lifetime tome

he reveals

what all conceal –

“There’s no fool

can call me friend.”


Who am I?

Don’t know.


I press a strange tongue

against my palate,

& pretend to be.


This is the flavor of water.


https://theopiatemagazine.com/2016/11/12/he-suffered-he-suffered-he-suffered-then-on-the-seventh-day-he-took-a-break-then-he-suffered-by-david-leo-sirois/ (link to online poem)


“Rest works wonders.”


I appear upon your screen

totally out of focus.


Help me arrive at where I am.


Even now, after 45 turns of

kind chaos, still I

fight to let myself be drawn

by the natural magnet

of my heart’s



Negative & positive poles mixed.


Seagulls flutter in & out of

my chest, in search of a

fresh or salty

body of water.


So often unfulfilled.


Midnight & where is my old mind?

Slipped between the slats of

reality’s trellis.


The head of one last gold rose

dignifies this servile kitchen table, &

complements my well-dressed skull –

pulled from a closet of stuffed bears, snowy owls,

& the 8-foot snake my mother sewed together

for my 10th birthday.


Million, the bear I still clutch all night,

worth a million dollars to me,

its neck weak & fur falling out.

Hard to hold my head up

with this heavy ego.


Back & forth along

the open window winter floor.

The shocking kiss of

tiles against naked feet.


Night’s rarefied silence.


An oversized plastic clock

adorns the wall with a cartoon clown –

the steadfast drumming of

the two-headed damaru,

with its stone upon a string, rocking

between the fingers of one of the four

hands of Rudra, “The Fierce Lord,” his tears taking the

form of brown beads encircling my wrist

three times – but at this hour wearing his

meditative face

to perform our never-ending cosmic dance –


makes me march in tune

with time, or lose my footing

trying to climb with both eyes closed

this mountain made of dust.


Is there really room for lies

when nature is so sincere?

Bound to be myself.


But who is this monster

fattening the mirror?

Think I’ve seen him

in some of my mother’s

long-ago-lost photographs.


Who has he all-too-easily

become, letting

laziness & sleep

lead his steps?


It is purest logic

to replenish an

empty glass,

& fill it with a blood-red

cure for pain

as often as the atmosphere



Darkness slips in slowly,

almost imperceptibly, until

eventually it claims its trophy.


At noon I saw a hunched grandmother

rolling an empty stroller

along a silent sidewalk –

my so-called presence still keeping it

vacant –

by her side a girl of

perhaps 2 & 1/2, pushing

an empty pink stroller herself.


Perhaps in 80 years this blond child,

in whose face I could already see the

soon-to-be adult, will graduate

to a futuristic make & model of a walker.


I saw that it was good

to be held upright.


I have seen so many things

(forever remaining ignorant)

& accomplished much less,

suffered in little educational ways,

& least of all had flashes of

the light that lives in sidewalks

& other living sculptures,

pulsating power

only seen by unfurrowing the

brow, softening the gaze, & listening

to the likes of William Blake –


“If the doors of perception were cleansed

every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite.”


“We look not with, but through, the eye.”


Who, then, is this witness?

It saw & remembered last night’s

dream about wandering the streets in the

dark, feeling that my cold

winter coat lacked a Christmas gift

wrapped up in its pocket for a generous artist.


This witness watches my messed-up mind’s

blizzard of wayward words & letters.

My other father said “Don’t even let the

letters come together. . .Never become anything.”


Sometimes the countless seagulls that flit between

my ribs find a ripple upon which to sit

& rest.


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