an intricate binding, deciphered.
A maze travelled in reverse.
Fondled by fingers, instinctively
knowing the depths of loops.
A dense mountain, mentally
dissolved into single piece
of flaccid string.
I Am Awake
and uninspired. Midnight
has struck my muse,
turned her into a pumpkin
I cannot crack. I have tried
pruning and watering her barren
garden, but she withers more
with every passing hour. I can hear
the emptiness of dawn approaching.
In desperation, I grab knife and candle,
force fire into her mind--into mine--
a useless gesture as we both burn,
hollow shadows, waiting for the sun's
mercy to rot us back to seed.
Swallowing the imaginary
key to the mental
cage constructed around a mind's tiger,
the one who devours memories
fed to it like candy
as I sit in an armchair that feels
a little too much like an electric chair
in a prison where solitary
confinement is a gift. I choke on
as I reach for another gallon
of antacid to soothe the scraping
of teeth that are never corroded enough
to be anything more than one forgotten prayer
away from releasing the flood
that has already drowned my soul.
A.J. Huffman has published thirteen full-length poetry collections, fourteen solo poetry chapbooks and one joint poetry chapbook through various small presses. Her most recent releases, The Pyre On Which Tomorrow Burns (Scars Publications), Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink), A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press), and Familiar Illusions (Flutter Press) are now available from their respective publishers. She is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2600 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, The Bookends Review, Bone Orchard, Corvus Review, EgoPHobia, and Kritya. She is the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press. You can find more of her personal work here: https://ajhuffmanpoetryspot.blogspot.com/