As thick drapes shut out the world,
Trapping cold air and shadows
in tightly-wound fabric,
I fell asleep
with a fish bone in my throat.
Darkness filled the corners of the room
and   it   lodged
an iron bolt
blocking the vowels and consonants,
the sleepy syllables from pushing through my chest
and out of my dry lips – –

I couldn’t reach for you through the darkness.

There has been an emptiness in me;
I have felt its wings scratch at my chest,
Felt it curl and consort with the yellow bile of my stomach.
As the sun crosses the sky
and sets over still water,
I take no comfort in that fresh salt smell – –

Only sickness settles within me now – –

And still, I can’t reach for you.

Days stretch endlessly before me,
I am pulled, stumbling, through their shadows,
The seed still deep within my skull.
Black tendrils spiral from the crown of my head,
Fall like running water and wrap me in their thorn-grip,
sprouting   sprouting
Pinning my arms to my sides
and trapping my tongue – –

So I can’t reach for you.


This poem appeared in Issue 6 of The Lonely Crowd. See my musings on the composition of this pome in Author’s Notes, or listen to it on Soundcloud.