The horrid sound swam before me
like a bloated fish,
all stretched scales and choppy gills.
I stepped aside for it in a stumbling fox-trot,
its tailing appendages gaping out at me.
The sound laughed at my wide eyes.
It found a place in my ear,
my warm traitorous right one,
my terrorist in drummer’s dress.
I stopped it up with cotton and slimy oil,
my fingers reeking of salty seas,
and waited for the strangled cry
to gasp out like a quenched flame.
Sound leaking out like wax.
There’s a chance you won’t see me again.
More than a chance.
It looms like a cave wall,
over and around you.
Its cold stone dripping into your crisp skin.
The chance grows and echoes
until you can’t see the entrance,
that toothless gape
now just a bright, taunting speck.
There’s a chance you might regret this.
I doubt it. But.
The cave may grow until
the light becomes so dark it’s light again
and you may find yourself in a classroom,
all eyes and teetering hands on you.
All you might see is my shadow,
my vague outline
like the edge of a handkerchief
strolling by the entrance.
Obliterating that tiny speck of light.
My cells get brittle
becoming cheap crystal
that tinkles to the floor
My body quits
holding itself, my eyes
to the floor, they roll
back and forth
back and forth
picking up dust
lint from the underside of shoes
My hair-strands knot together
but they collapse
like an old shower curtain
They are too weak
They melt apart
I loose myself on this floor
There are parts of me all along the walls
up at the dirty ceiling
In between/ the table's/ legs
oozing into the wood
I will continue to disintegrate
A puzzle thrown against the wall
And you'll continue to smile
happy I have no head.
Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time she has either reading or writing. Her work has appeared in Exercise Bowler, and will appear in the winter editions of Blinking Cursor, Theory Train, Magnolia's Press, Cartier Street Press, Berg Gasse 19, A Handful of Dust, The Scarlet Sound, The Adroit Journal and Perhaps I'm Wrong About the World. You can find her here: http://coldbloodedlives.