Rabarbra or Wife Engel picking Rhubarb via WikimediaThis place called time
tastes like rhubarb pulled from dark earth
washed too quickly
holds the grit
and fervor
my grandma says
coal and dirt protect the child
from disease and rancor
but will they erase? I ask
the tenor of nightmares brushing
thin window panes at dawn
before first bird call wakes
the timorous
for fear
can come in the unexpected moth
hitting light and dying upside down
bearing fangs
or in an accumulation of loss
seeking refuge in cooling pipes
when the world sleeps
are we lost then?
to the debris of ourselves?
making masks of highs and lows
as mountains would cleave themselves
into castles
I would like I told her
to be a badger or a fox
stealthy and unseen
beneath hedgerow of cast offs
wild and lost in retreat
among spun floss of highlands
where moss turns aubergine and dries
into purple air
once I saw a skull bleached into chalk
more could be said of its expression
than the world of scraped chairs
and reluctant mouths downcast in an effort
not to betray themselves
when they pulled me from the weeds
daubing calamine for poison ivy and
salt on adhering slugs
I asked they leave me
just a moment more
to turn into a hollow
instrument awaiting its pluck
in the warmth of an
empty room