Absolute Bottom

I have felt the cold touch of approaching doom
reaching back from the future during all my incarnations
entangled with the nerves and muscles in my back
like a blacksmith pounding out his last piece of stock
understanding that it will never temper true
it’s bath of blood and oil will flare and crack it
a prize like a hundred dollar lobster claw
containing no meat just a whiff of the sea

understand that I created the doom I felt
the other actors in my drama could be blamed
if I were a poor director and sometimes I shout
running a razor sideways across my cheek
to feel the bite and watch the blood rise dark
at the wound then catching up to beads of water
and sweat subside into a pink stain that leaves
an almost invisible track through the hair on my chest

we all mark ourselves and many of us start fires
then walk away resigning the emergency to the category
of someone else’s problem – I’ve done it
watched the edges of some situation catch and crisp
wishing I had a marshmallow to toast but tasting
nothing but my own gorge then turning to salute
my shadow darkening on the wall as I silently escaped

sometimes it’s such a joy to wrap up in doom
that lovely plummet toward bottom assured
that the bottom would always be there even if
it was located a bit further down than I expected
layers of fearsome scrim to plummet through
my fall slowing in minute increments my body tumbling
my existence become a kaleidoscope of black and white
reminding me of what I did and what I didn’t
and the certain doom the interplay created

I do it all to feel that relief pressed flat to the floor
tucked in a hospital bed or safely confined
in a piss-smelling cell – to be alive and not responsible
anymore for anything a ward of my fellow humans
and if their care seems abusive it is still care
though my teeth fall out and joints go rickety
I am blessed to see the whole of creation arrayed
above me and I laugh looking up the skirts of angels

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a poet from Seattle Washington USA. His poetry has appeared in print in publications such as Bellowing Ark, Point Nopoint, and most recently in Contraposition magazine. When not writing poetry he is a Human Resources professional, a repentant glutton, and a novelist specializing in the weird-fiction genre.
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