Under an Unmarked Headstone

Recall the taste of mulch.

Tumble down at a show of force.

Wandering fingers twitch at the feeling of familiar dirt.

Does it linger there in the backstage

where the looking-glass man cowers in bandages,

tied tight to trauma it never knew was there?

The playground barons and the pavement kings

camp out in the hippocampus with a smoldering fire.

Sixty dollar checks direct a hose to the scene;

they pick up their belongings,

shift to an elsewhere,

lighting a recollection when nothing can brace the shock.

Shove off masters of the belt as conquest begins,

a fake Napoleon spreading flags across the continent of consciousness.

Bounce off to out of sight, ought of mind,

and his unrequited rage reflects back in lost hours of sleep,

soldiers digging trenches under eyelids

where the scarification of skin fails to heal lingering craters.

Does it remain never-fading?

Does it still come as the arctic cold,

racing across the spinal cord as a torrid freeze?

No shield protects the skeletal frame from crumbling under its head’s weight,

bearing the brunt of remembrance it cannot withstand.

The lashes at night are no longer a dream.

The faces that torment no longer cease.

Shiver at night with no mouth to speak,

and nothing remains but a voiceless scream.

Nothing to be done except play roulette with pill rounds.

Turn it over and over and over again.

( ❤ Mitch)

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