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.
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