Can’t Kill the Beast
There it is again,
That desert highway
Rolling lanes of emptiness
Sand crawling along with the wind
Swept one side to the next
Mini- hills coupling,
Swarming sweatily among the dry detritus
Until new winds glibly wreak havoc with their foundations
While the hillocks reform endlessly.
The beast winning the battles,
Roars its pleasure
Over the bleached bones that lay scattered
In their valley of life.
They have their sciences,
Their concocted salvation,
A salve on the miles that they envision
Stretching to forever
Even though the beast lies in wait
And they seek to prolong inevitability.
The beast will roar
And add their bones eventually
To the hills of sand
That continues its march to the end
While they drink their potions,
Inject their medicines in a hocus pocus frenzy.
While the beast lies in wait
Ready to roar with its renewed laughter
At their shades, their ghosts, and their spirits.
What a cruel house.
It consumed her in inches
Like her life that waxed and waned in its own time.
She was struck with trepidation
Down to two, perhaps three cigarettes a day
Engulfing her lungs in an alveoli death.
The room closed in around her
Walled fortress that could not keep the boatman
From traversing the inky sea.
Finality, her home a jar of her essence
In her own time
Brain bleeding from exhaustion.
Where did all her thoughts go into nether regions
While sitting on the portable crapper
Providing some relief as life sped out of her?
Nearly a millennium of a curmudgeonly trespass
On sheets of bed-logged linen, rolls of cleansing wipes,
Papers of a life consumed into a nothingness.
They mourned for two hours
And gladly left her remains encased in her bronze crypt
With the one picture of a self who can only be imagined.
Is This Dante’s Inferno?
Just David the instructor and I were there
Residing in the quiet
Thinking nothing special
When the door creaks open 11:30 a.m.
Ten minutes away from the start of class.
Some shuffle in in restless anticipation.
Drifters huddle in small groups at desks
Bending close to the ears of classmates
Who in consternation
Work at the words they hardly hear
Struggling to make meaning of inanity.
The instructor hasn’t begun yet in earnest.
He distributes dessert bars in anticipation
Of an hour with King George I.
A tentative being halts at the door,
Head jerking this way and that.
In the back of the room, one reads Killing Reagan.
David in front sets up the video.
The tentative intruder asks, “Is this Dante’s Inferno?”
“No, it’s next door,” I blurt.
David and I stare at one another.
The door slams shut as she hurriedly exits
And we tacitly agree
Behind our eyes—
Perhaps it is.
Sy Roth is still writing and trying to find his answer to the darkness.