guts

"yes, i have
 traversed the
 cavern," the cartographer
 says; "i will do
 everything in my power
 to help you find the
 way through"
 
 
"please..." 
 i plead, "please
           tell
               me"
 
 
 
"as you
 wish, young 
 traveler. with
 every step 
   further into
      its depths,"
 
 the man continues,
         "you will feel the 
          walls smoothen as 
          they begin to glaze-
          immaculate and unspoiled
          by contact
 
  
          you will sleep on the
          bedrock, each night more
          comforting as the terra
          cotta turns soft, wet
          and loam
 
 
          and after two days the 
          echo will brighten, rising
          steadily upward; this
          sound indicates two more
          remaining"
 
 
 
 
 with this knowledge,
 i undertake a
 slow crawl through
 the ink-black 
 tunnel
 
 
 
 there was
      nothing to be
           seen, so
 i feel-
     (the walls:
           smooth as the finest glass i had ever sipped)
       
 i sleep-
     (on the bedrock:
           soft as the most supple cushion i had ever laid upon)
 
 i heard-
     (the echo:
           bright as the lullaby of a soprano virtuoso)
 
 
 
 two days
 later, the tunnel
 expands in 
 a glossy fuschia,
 showcasing a 
 hospital skyscraper
 ceiling
             and my aching legs stand
             and my wanting nostrils fill
                               with the aroma of 
                               fresh hemlock leaves...
 my ascending figure is
 a silhoutte in the 
 blinding sunlight;
 i make a dead sprint
 toward the cavern
 exit
 
 
 
 
 then, 
 
 slipping...             ...falling.      
        
                        an anvil
 
                        plunge
 
              two fictions 
         
            deep,
     
     into the 
 
trench-
 
 
 
everything became
post-mortem at
the precise
moment my 
spine snapped 
and guts
sp-
ill
-ed
 
 
 
it wasn't until then that i realized
 
 
the cartographer 
had been 
blind
all of
this
time

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