In the muddy, midden corners of its cage
mutters, stutters, hiccups, sobs,
and folds in on itself
Hate and anger climb to the surface
with sharp spikes and strong ropes,
as I work to cut their ties with
love’s violent sword.
Darkness dots my spirit like lawn weeds
The decayed and rotting past seeks to
coddle me, cuddle me, clobber me,
and sing the listless lullaby that induces
paralyzing ennui masked as sleep.
At the end of this gauntlet stands Death,
coated with cold, and patient as river stones
waiting to to wreck me on sodden, craggy points that
will break my spirit like rotten boughs broken off
a vibrant, growing tree, and
scatter my flesh
like fish bait.
And nightly, as the sun wanes and the moon waxes,
I realize that after all this time,
the cage was never locked.