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... Splintered Exposition ...


One word

A word that rises

floats past

beckoning me to

chase it

and place it

in a sentence

that blooms into

a dark seed

exploding into birth

glowing red, white, yellow

under the skin of my fingernails

hot like a coffin nail

hammered into a funeral box

a perimeter I will never see

New forged iron

eating around me

like ancient burial grounds

as I suffer in ecstacy

under the soil

under the sea

that tries to drown me


Black water rising

lightning coursing over the surface

and me, in my tiny rowboat

contemplating the abyss again


Hanging over white crests on ebony waves

the spray of the sea sputters out of my lips

it becomes a salve

becomes a song

a silent siren scream

lush and chilling

across the expanse of the dark tide


You stand in the shallows

While I swim in the endless night

While my throat itches

Opens and closes

I see your mouth

forming my name

speaking as if

you are underwater with me

I can smell the rotting tide

on your breath

as if you've been here


The splinters continue

deep in my fingers

dug out with pins and razors

shredded wood that built timbers

up and around my life

blood and scabbing ensue

after their removal

telltale scars of their infinitesimal occupancy

They pick up where the pain left off

They teach of the eternity of seconds, bleeding out

They remind me of white tiled hallways


and chemotherapies that both succeeded

and did not

They remind me of the wooden boxes at the altar

and a stranger I have known for decades

who drove in splinters, deliberately

who drove mistrust in my heart

© 2018 Carole Anzolletti

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