By Declan Kiely

Walking heel to toe misaligned my hips
My mind backflips
Off the high-dive stack of poker chips
Focus ripped from calcimined bones
That crack and chip with no moral
Life is like a fable
Thorn-tipped and scented like floral
Pain is not an instant or merely a moment
But simply a brutal constant
Interrupting locomotion
Sensation as a quotient
Divided and desensitized
A path as clear as ocean’s Murky depths 

Last Sunday I wept
Choking that I have to schlep
My shambling corpse
Warped under gravity’s push
With the desire to pull the wool
Covering my nose and mouth
Jumping into an abyss and falling south
Comport comes as I fall down
Weightless with the wind as the only sound
The ground approaches with a lurch
And I search for a pinprick
Light, the trick I fall for
So I crawl through darkness towards
The door in the corner 

Hand over hand
My tissue torn
Worn hinges lead me
Along a zebra path of possibility
Blindly I climb skyward
Knees buckle and struggle 

With the sole reliance on muscle
Step by step I reach the third snowy peak
The air reeks with solutions
The fusion of false profits and hopes
Help through iron and dope
Smoke enters my lungs
I used it to relieve the tons
Felt climbing up icy rungs 

By 60 I’ll be done
Cards folded on felt
Lungs filled with chronic
Ironic that pain can be so cold
Brushed gold is just a façade
To bounce off of cones and rods
As I plod through a chemical cocktail
I find my reality
And all the tools bestowed to me
I realize my purpose
To climb the trees
While they still have their grace
Refracted images bigger than me
So I’ll buy a brace

Declan is a senior Environmental Studies Major with a focus in Policy, and a Creative Writing minor. He got his start in poetry while participating in the SLAM poetry scene of Tulsa, Oklahoma. This poem is Declan’s second poem to be published, with previous publications in This Land literary magazine and The Trinity Review, and another coinciding publication in the Trinity Review spring 2020 issue.

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