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*Medulla (Dylan - Baton Rouge, La)

His ribs were made of precious rocks

            Where dust was breathed into--

Sealed in seams and living locks

            Until this boy was born and grew;

Mocked that tree that built his box

            And held his soul---the one he split in two.

I. Numbed-Out Funeral Song

In my enameled haste, I bit away the husks and soft seams of my fingertip only to spackle my spirit in three cardinal-hat drops. While they fuse into the cotton mesh of a white buttoned shirt, a neon display lights the window of the Majestic Mortuary, singing and jiving to tip-toeing black umbrellas caught in the daylight. Hiding my red triad beneath the crisp diamond pattern of a silk tie, the trickles converge into the slick-black sequence of a forking geometry. I’m the only one who knows; I mourn for myself, I mourn for humanity in silent, silver-tongued requiems. No one else seems to notice---that it’s all going to break when they blanch and bleach in the swirling of a washing machine: red-erased, to become crisp as the calllus from which they entered the world, Souls, underground: we’ll pierce into the dirt and cycle through a precious twist of earth.

II. Transcendentalism

One wild, three-toed dove flaps its collection of pastel-brown feathers, sewn together into some dull, begging plumage. On the Ninth Street concrete, a pearly shine from the fowl’s bust blinds walkers and lookers that sneak a peek at the cyclic pomp. The tear in its chest has a pus-dried rust surrounding its lead-peg-heart---a nameless shape in its ruffle of frayed horns; each projects like a thousand silhouettes from a single spark. When the street darkens with the nightly cast of shadows, the dove---vertebrae aligning---swoons into some glint in the amethyst puffs above, mourning. The world is quiet but for the whistle of gilt luxury automobiles; the violenting clouds of sky rage with the wind---breathing like some shatterer of worlds, fearing the grounds that bury below.

III. Afterglow of a Sickle-Moon

We both heard the electric buoy of insects: black bees and beds of roaches, hissing at our feet as we paced by. The spider-shaped contour of exploding palms hid our path through the soot-colored dark. Scratched and seared by brambles of a city jungle, our chafing legs were pulled and forced by the nerving grasp of wild twilight. Like a wasted, old Man and Woman, we both stood hunched; two broken columns, two Kahlos in the pithed fluidity of our fear: “I hope the exit is joyful---and I hope to never come back.” Hundreds of termites, like wasps, smothered our skin beneath the enlarging glare of a streetlight, wings sticking to our faces as we hear their bursting murmurs beneath the leather souls of our shoes. The sky holds only a sickle-moon, held by invisible strings that cup our fate.

All that is left are his precious rocks,

            Turned to dust that which was breathed into---

Picked and pulled at those weathered locks

            Until ash became the boy who grew;

Now under, he lays six in his simple box

            With his soul---the one split in two.

*The inner core of certain organs or body structures, such as the marrow of bones. 


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