the gaping darkness

don’t stare at the gaping darkness
for too long
or you’ll begin to see its face

never again will you see a thing
that looks so young
and seems so old

you’ll swear that her cerulean hair
is thrashing about
like upright snakes
but when you focus
they’ll be as still as your sunken feet
in the thick yellow mud

don’t mind the sinking feeling
as more and more of your body
descends into earth

no matter how much you lose
you’ll never disappear

pay little or no attention
to the tiny grizzly bears
skating on the mire below

their chants may sound important
but when you listen to the words
you’ll hear something like:
what do we want?
when do we want it?

look down
and you’ll see the corners of quilts
poking from the surface

no matter the urge
don’t pull them out

they’re done comforting others

their threaded roots
are busy digging
to the world below

once they can grip a tree
or a sturdy ruin
they’ll pull themselves to freedom
and fly
with cloud nymphs dancing
on their backs

look to the corpulent obelisks
that circle you and wheeze

as they teeter and move
you’ll only catch a word here
a word there
in a language you can’t understand
but you’ll see these symbols again
written in a loved one’s face

the stones may shoot you
but by the time the words
splat against you
they’ll have lost that effervescent glow
you hoped would warm
your shivering skin

when you sink
down to your shoulders
the mice may shave your head
and tattoo caricatures
of the aging obelisks
on your newfound baldness

all but one of the mice
are basically harmless

Chilp Tak Hardengrass
will crawl into your ear
and fingerpaint on your brain
and you’ll learn more about
global economic systems
than you can stand

when the bog finally takes you

you’ll live

never again will you feel
so happy
to be rejected

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