Black Smoke Rising

imagesfor Tim Shaw

    i. Soul Snatcher Possession

I am drowning in the glug
of a tacky heartbeat,
the sound of oil
spilling
from a barrel.

My head is a helium balloon
rising
I am steeped in fascination
as I move through
the woody sawdust smell
of dim-lit corridors.

The door is perched
    half-open
it seduces upturned eyes.
Inside, the walls are breathing.

Seven eyeless raggedy scarecrows,
engage in barbaric ritual,
oblivious of my intrusion.

The fat man with his cushion belly
glares through fabric folds.
A suffocated woman shows
the sinews of her legs,
her pornstar nipples cut
bald.

Eyes constricted,
she cannot see his five-fingered prong
outstretched
to grab, grab, grab.

    ii. Man on Fire

He falls forward,
the flames eating his back
stuck
like stiff reeds of coral.

He is tar and oil
Trapped in the in-between
of life and death,
his giant back
a mass of burning black
seaweed.

    iii. Casting a Dark Democracy

You are spent,
your head bowed slightly,
arms outstretched
asking
forgiveness, help,
a quicker death.

You are a child
in a Halloween costume,
a black bin-bag witch.

You are a victim
a prisoner
the Klu Klux Klan
a concaved anomaly.

Cable tendrils
trail behind you
like electrical intestines.

The criss-cross of your insides
fall away
leave you hollow,
a burnt building
filled with empty
catastrophe.

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