Friday, August 16, 2013

Periscope



Camera clutched in a claw
reaches tentatively around the corner. The extended tentacle,
the erect antenna. A vine stretches its tendril toward the
blinding crack, cautiously hoping to penetrate
the topsoil, to smother itself in daylight.
A scorpion submerged in a pot of water
raises its tail to the surface.
A gastropod raises one eyestalk above the fog,
rotates it left, right, to spy on the shadowy figures
humping through the gloom.
Smoke streams straight up from a cigarette,
sucked toward the red Cyclops eye
of the smoke detector. The eye winces,
tears up, begins to whine. You were safe until
you broke the surface, until you tried to see
what lay outside your womb. Now it’s too late,
the sirens are screaming Dive, dive,
the captain is yelling Hit the dirt, it’s time to
pull in your legs, curl up, withdraw into
your shell, don’t move a pincer, don’t let
a single bubble of sound escape your lips.   

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