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An Epic Of Introspection

by Lacey Smith

I.

the corners remain
untouched: descent calls
out like a crescent
hand, fingers curl

the moon takes shape
in the palm and light
spills forward, the very
pastures it was made to
represent shake like
wheat quivering in the
hollow of seasons
new.

II.

a pinch at the skin, pulling up
like the Rocky Mountains forming
a home in the body of her

but what is a body anyway
when it is the words and reactions
that people write books about

when out of the ground,
the sinew is only worms-meat
and the words are the lasting
of what you once were

III.

the constricted air, holding tight
in the crevice of a blocked thought.
the crushed velour lips break out
like strawberry, the mint making
noises as it retracts into the
underside.

softly it grazes over the bellies
of introspection, but the talk
is cheap like a dime store locket
a quarter in the back pocket

and the flowing movement of a
derailed train.

IV.

the untouched fingers move
down into the hinges of hands
that clasp only the
familiarity of similar
hands:

in the loneliness of virgin
skin, she hides phrases like
a thick vein waiting to
spill its blood, and letters
retracting like

blood cells
all vowels white
and consonants red

V.

she is a piano with the
keys out of tune, that
no one wants to sit and
play but rather
keep in their garage

with the cover an old sheet,
tiny little baby's breath to
adorn the thin thread:

off white from
years of use

VI.

and the scars examine themselves
over each other, following the lines
of bullets grazed across other
bullets

like flames that came within inches
of the tender movement that
fueled them

breathing out like oxygen
twice used in tanks for
soldiers better than
you

VII.

Neon flashes into the brittle
breaking of bones, elements
fill in the gashes where
shards are not recovered

and wind picks up the forgotten
traces of scent, the old
perfume that moves into
the rafters, covering the
scent of the dead

who lived in the walls
and through moans gauged
their opinions

VIII.

Bitterness, like salt without
flavor as it approaches the corners
of the closed lips

and within it, the tears fade away
as water with no use, evaporating
from the pores to make new clouds

to hang above heavy
confused heads and
rest on the closed
eyes

IX.

it is the day lost in the
middle of the week, torn out of
calendars and ripped from

pages in books, the day where
all heads turn to past or future

not living in a moment, or rather:
not pencilling it in

X.

the sheets pull up over
her head, which lies in a vice
constantly pressing in

it is the tired eyes that stare, ceiling
protruding like a gravestone
that waits to be etched into

and the radio keeps time as
the lights everywhere burn
out

12/11/2003

Posted on 12/11/2003
Copyright © 2020 Lacey Smith

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