8 May 2010 | Vol. 10, No. 1

on the state of a man in shock

he was bound and stitched. they hadn't a need to cut him loose.

after many times of him slipping, worming his way, logically,

out of those predicaments—the ones where

he swallowed the oaks and unbecame himself—less predictably each

go round.

now they've given him a place, or worse.

he need not die that other way, in explicit regret,

with the rest of them.

no, now he has a need. now, he must pull the ends of his ropes

until the weight

unwinding from the pulley

begins to loosen his tired mind.

even as he walked each day through this funnel—

gaining & approaching, toppling, regressing,

he had not wished these waters upon the shores,

uprooting and swallowing the leaves.

and those leaves that became moss sewed into his skin

on the night

the crickets, aching tiny machines, wept

while he waited for the earth to dry.

but now he is here, his finger writing blankly on the floor.

on the floor, asleep.

the moon tonight is a smooth skull, its eyes

fixed on his windows. the oaks lift their chins and

furrow their brows.

his face is disturbed. in his dream, the water

calms and turns to steel.

he too becomes steel.

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About the author:

Cade Collum is the author of two chapbooks titled The Dogs of Havana (Red Hydra Press, 2008) and Lion-Froth Crown (Red Hydra Press, forthcoming). His poems have also appeared or are forthcoming in Vulcan and Ginosko. He received a B.A. in Psychology and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where he is currently living and working as a full-time Instructor.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Cade Collum at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 10, No. 1, where "on the state of a man in shock" ran on May 8, 2010. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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