6 December 2007 | Vol. 7, No. 4

from A Poem That Was Lost

sallow, glowing white against the darkness

in the smelly tunnels below the sky. I am one among

the pulchritude, cowering. Lightning can't reach me here,

buried as I am in rubber rooms, rubber world, 180

wooden hearted and dumb. If I were to catch fire

for any/some thing, burn my love out bright and hot;

I'd be left with ashes, the taste

of ashtray in my mouth as though I'd loved

a smoker. (The bastard!) And if the smoke left 185

by its burning contained carcinogens,

led to cancer, well, at least something would

grow, though wild as Johnson Grass, at least

it would be untamed. Free to roam the pale

expanse of my temple internal, the gated community 190

of my heart. (Upstairs, I can hear them creaking

like birdlings begging for worms

as they tippy-toe and hover over this gentle egg

I am brewing in the gullet of my simple brain. They wait

until it has formed enough shell to crack, 195

with mallets aforethought, see them hover, pace and argue,

this thing called father, half-thing, ape-thing called sister.)

I was halfway down the footpath to the wading pond

where my good thoughts like to lounge. Trust me

on that. I was almost there. I'd brought suntan and 200

ambrosia. (They are suckers for citrus.) I am forever finding

and losing my way to enlightenment, like a picked-up penny,

placed in pocket, forgotten, rolling in the wash. Everything

around it will come out clean, but I, poor penny, alas.

About the author:

C. L. Bledsoe is an editor for Ghoti Magazine. His collection, Anthem, is forthcoming next year.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by C. L. Bledsoe at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 7, No. 4, where "from A Poem That Was Lost" ran on December 6, 2007. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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