Dear Old One

You’ve been so near
for so long
your imprint
shaping the bed that
you are the bed
now where I plant my feet. Roots
snarl along spring and vein,
deeper still into shale pressed so
it has no room to flake
apart and reveal its face
upon face upon face.

I’ve stayed here where you hold me
down claiming tether
against weightlessness. A shaft
of sun warmed this place
once. Branches long since thickened
close arthritic around that narrow frame
sealing shut the last dust-streaked pane
and I’ve lived so here
for so long
closeness
shading the bed that
I am the shade
now
trying to nurse
up from you the sustenance required
to lift
free
but the feeding
goes one way
only. Down
you churn salt and pulse
through my marrow your vital
mix. I am conductor
of a symphony
you fold
and chew
to silence.

What you eat:
Gifts
and the wrapping. Steps
and doorjambs, jawbones, tissue paper
hearts. Arcs, eggs,
ink, god,
match
tips, wings,
risk.
You eat smoke right out of the flame.
You eat the eye
of the hurricane. You eat tides
flat. You swallow
the sky.

When I twist my ankle and begin to shiver
loose, I know you
will send plagues. I know you
will chew off
both my feet. I know you
don’t know
how many crumbs of light
I’ve tucked into the nest
under my tongue
or how many miles
I can crawl
on splinters
and scars until I learn to
fly.
 

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3 thoughts on “Dear Old One”

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