• Trip-slide-stumble across fogbleached iron;
    Steps take you nowhere,
    save deeper into the maw.
    Highways for the rats twist through jungle-steam
    as embers throw up fresh clouds -
    light the world like a dying sun
    and section it up with neat gridwork

    There was nothing off the catwalks
    you didn't know -
    chains sprawl like gut memories
    (past libido and into thanatos)
    trembling in resonance with steel on steel -
    the howitzer howl of inevitability.

    It's not God's province
    to grant you bestial innocence
    (that much got lost somewhere between
    hindbrain and ego);
    Id and terror prey on all creatures' nerves.

    Five, six, the banks of Styx -
    that tarnished crucifix will only weigh you down.
    The boat is already waiting, its razored keel
    grounding on the grating where
    white rainbows slaver russet
    and aluminum (tastes like fear) dawn
    glimmers between burn scars.

    Rip-slide-stumble across blood-glazed iron,
    bailing humors with each step -
    there are still leaks to open
    and ballast to cut loose.
    Daylight seeps between the boilers, following
    your tracks with leaden-tread intent -
    blind uselessness of fleeing snares your legs
    in vapors, and the skiff's copper hull
    drops rust in your eyes.

    Knives strike home like terror tactics,
    and all hope is lost.