Lost

 

There are doors and knocking. Try to open, if locked go under.
Keep trying. See, you are very small. Perhaps dirty. You do at times. Some people whose flesh is crushed will do at times.

Odd thick words and looking in the sequined night. Sequins on a key. It filters down like the mystery that is black, that is velvet. Mystery of looking. Your breath, silken, condenses. A thumping
     noise.

Memory is still just an empty high in an odd valley lying supine
on a blank sheet. Long ago was letting go and forgetting.
Remember only you are being filled. Can barely see the key so
     far beyond.

In the desert, miles above, a tiny man with metallic flesh walks
by the road. In the middle of some nowhere, some she-thing emerges with broken wings. A mangled surface. Touch it now,
     then awake.

In silence, an empty high being filled. Snakes twine the valley where low lights glitter. Sequins on black velvet. Words crush the promise of looking. Keep knocking.

To open the night keep knocking the doors of the underworld, twist and groan. Go under. The tiny man deceives you. He’s lost his skin. Perhaps. A steel-ribbed curtain clamps down.

On the curtain a delicate insect, a metal insect unfolds its silence.
Its wings are broken. They unlock. You are on the outskirts of something. Close. Stale lives and seedy breathing. Something
     clicks.

—Michelle Noteboom



About the Author

Michelle Noteboom's first book, Edging, received the Heartland Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in Fence, Verse, Sentence, and The Columbia Poetry Review.




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