for Cornelis Vleeskens

beginnings leak
sinister burst of light coursing
settles inside the vacuum
windowless, shutters beating out flames
the new prophecy of vermin, awesome in height,
one brushes against the heat-marked backs of my legs
propelling the stream of memory into a ceaseless fear.
when the room becomes a feathered wind
floor thrashing at leviathan flies
levitating above its own cruel surface
all images are mirrored and curving, pounded by
wild shadows that drown out sleep, far-reaching claws
mouthfuls of blood thrown against eclipsed eyes.
the hands melt the half-broken lock, distant
Imprisonment rips the body, these waking turns
into the tunnel of the conscious mind
leathery unstemmed roots settle their brightened exhaustion
beds of sinew, I am the prey of my bursting brain, my
day-lit human figure collapsed, the skin hungers, pulse
deepening glass of archaic saliva, growing limbs
circle, haired and radiant, tears the acidic bone,
brimming the welted tongue, tracks of rasping feet and breathing
jaws brush at my throat, the air’s teeth cut on inebriated nights-
why did I not realize I lived before the crossroad
strung out along the cryptic dawn.

from The Other Flesh

*

First published by Pete Spence in ETZ.

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