Toad

06/25/14

A fever, misunderstood. The waitress won’t stop rubbing her hands. Because I am
frequently someone else, I say, “There’s a problem in logic inside and it only comes out
when the speaker is preoccupied.”
Accidents are proof of my existence, stains my philosophy. I tell the stories that
have already been told. First you will fall asleep and then you will fall asleep inside.
In a quiet daze of darkness and oars, one soft slap, numb in the damp night. A
finger pointing nowhere. “That is where you are going,” whispers its wind before anyone
knows.
Whatever it is, you step into it, surprised that it fits.
The fairytale has a long tongue, darting, grobbling up the silence, a forgotten story
of insects and mistakes, a hunger of flies and survival. When you believe the stone inside
is a real stone and the house inside is a real house, then you will be surrounded by your
own existence. Day does not simply turn into night; it is penetrated by it.
An old woman in the tale lives in a cage lit with fish-oil lamps. She sleeps and your
parts inhabit her dreams. It’s your winged heart in the shadows, gnawing on a mouse.
You could chase yourself with your own furry arm. Your head would be outside itself if
it could think of this.
Then the dying thump of some wart-animal held down by the frozen earth of an
entirely different tale.
“Love,” the dog said, “love,” but it sounded like, “Feed me.”
I miss you. Give me back my oven.



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.