A Spiritual Dilemma


The sound of a leg dragging on a warm still night. A smoky ruin of a man wheezing
with ambiguous pleasure.

Sleeping on a train. Forgetting your destination.

Driven into the distance, I want the whole sky.

And you try to leave it alone but you can’t. You’re in the middle of it. Because you
are asking questions. No one can hear you, but it doesn’t matter. It won’t leave you alone.

Today they’re hanging baskets in the square instead of thieves. It’s the wrong
season for it. There was ice in the wall, a plaintive whistle of caution. I can feel my whole
body and it’s melting. Inside the barbed wire, I find an offering. In its heart I saw four
crickets sitting in a matchbox. I felt the wet muzzle of snow. A white hut asleep by the
river. It’s not mine anymore.

I was outside. I was just outside the edge. Anticipation leaking through the wooden
slats. A man taken ill while traveling.
Is remorse manufactured in this region?
There were five, there were eight, there were too many.
A sad song sung by a naked man. I suppose I knew him.
We watched the morning begin poking at the window.

I was sent here to take you home. I was sent here because of a sudden impulse to
drop my arm in the sewer. Because I was indicating disgust with my upper lip, my teeth
were visible. I remembered the great sleeping eyelids of the devout.

I was carrying a transparent suitcase full of Baghdad and resinous coal dust. It
was famous air. It was what I lived for. It contained a partially mechanized variety of
woolen lizard and a soft cylindrical nuptial embrace, as faintly brittle as the call of a
titmouse. Can you imagine the sorrows contained in its bright green suspenders?

She appeared in the checkout line at the grocery store. Her son was embracing his
tarpaper. She bought mead, bubblegum ice cream and cheese pizza. There was a reason
caught in a tent with flames inside meant to start something. I believed it was internal. I
might have been mistaken.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.