Pillbox

Ogygia (Poem)

Sun. Cliffs. Desert. Cracked. Burning. Smoke. Glare. Down, down, down. Straight path leads to Something. Sun. Cliffs. Desert. Cracked. Burning. Smoke. Glare. Down, down, down. My feet keep busy but my mind bores, so I check what exists. Sun is above. Check. Cliffs to the left, desert to the right. Cracked grooves in the sandy floor and in my souls. Smoke in the air. Check. Glare from th- everything. Down, down, down, Jack and Jill tumble into the abyss to my left. And I, teeter on the Straight path to Something.
Slipping is more constant than walking. The ground is my bully and it falls out from under. Each future Stepping-Place is littered with CAUTION signs that I ignore, and my ankles scrape, bruise, and grieve as I trail the cliff. Reason ghosts through me, advising retreat into the desert, but no. I am drawn to the edge. Sometimes, when Smoke turns my head and Glare tickles the ravine, I catch Something glittering at the bottom. Something I need. I shrug it off as a trick of blazing Sun. Been down there before; obsidian sands bewitch and the river seduces sweet- but it is bitter. Liquid razors carry me for miles while my body is battered by boulders bracketing the stream. Toe to heel, toe to heel, don’t look down there is Nothing there.
I am a jacket potato. Sun burns my skin to a crisp, so cracked and bleeding that it’s started to slip off my scaffolding. Canvas paper grows flimsy on the frame, tattered by dust storms and stained by acid rains. I raise my forearm- it smokes. Finally my brain breaks a sweat and excretes thoughts that snake into the sky like curls from a cigarette, and I am jealous of their painless escape. I remain trapped under boiling Sun cliffs desert cracked burning smoke. Glare down down down. Toe to heel, Straight path leads to Something.
Straight path leads to Something.

All signs point to Nothing.