It turns out, I am more tenuous to the hero
than I once imagined. I now rest on this
sunless ground, a womb amidst the transgression
of woods. I wear my wounds deep
like tattoos; I wear them not with pride

but with pressure. This thickening brush
must be why the low flowers wither, the ground
unstable, strangulated. Our common end:
we all decay. A leisurely judgment to reach
when you believe the bear stops chasing you
after it eats your friend. But whose weight
do you balance when faced with erasure?

Our carcass will drop like a bird
whose wings are too weak to withstand
a torrent of wind another day,
talons curled, governing
nothing—my call to the wild

fumbled between our collected flaws. You see
me, even though we have never met. I live
here among slumbering giants,
yet my word is on every precipice
of breath expelled in anxiousness
toward what we now know.

The giants sleep, yes, weary
of how many they have seen
worn by the understanding
that their death is another's next
day, like the waning warmth of a mother's first
and final embrace. I dream the answers
retrieve from the dark a thing of beauty,
but beauty fades quicker the farther I follow fallow
ground. I was on the path to wisdom. I held in my hands
the answers to life's strangeness,
until I looked down to see my own two talons empty.

By Isiah Fletcher, 20 Nov, 2020


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