by Timothy Martin
Churchill called it his “black dog.” As did,
we read, both Johnson and Boswell
(which, to score it fairly, counts for the same voice).
For another, it was Sleeping Beauty (see:
the thorns asphyxiating the castle walls and
the deadening sleep, non-inclusive of a timely
prince with jumper-cable kisses).
To which I add my own, to name the strangeness
that interposes between us, keeping its own hours…
It’s an elevator shaft for one, vulture of the heart,
garden where you go anvil-picking.
It’s your learner’s permit grave, cave with no clearance
for the rest of us, the ledge you fall from,
when we walking beside you had no inkling of the skyscraper.
Quicksand in the parade’s path. Houdini mystifying
by stepping into chains. The wilderness where
you lie with a thousand snakebites, while I hold the map
upside-down by the fire, each stray boulder looking like the next.