The Cave and the Light

Fog slithers through my cave like an underworld stream burbling through stone. Obscured, prehistoric paintings

reinvent themselves. Ocher turns to blood, black to deeper black, brown the color of sky. My fire smolders in the gray expanse. Kindling curls into ribbons of cedar. Healing scents hover beneath the roof. Stalagmites burrow underground, rouse sleeping gods, whose magic solidifies shadows on the walls. Plato mythologized our journey to light. The cave warms as it nears the center of the sun. Spots bewilder our eyes. They ache from atrophy, scan mechanically, vision scrawled onto rocky souls. Forms fashion the way ahead. Gnarled roots of trees clutch the keys to my escape. I cannot advance without forging a lock. How it holds against the force of longing, desire. How it hammers into my brain the lesson of real, super-real, absolute reality. The visible risks birthing the invisible. My shell contains shapelessness. Angles deflate the rise of fog. Time staggers like drippings through the cave: Calcium deposits tumble from above. Poems scatter on the floor, letters wedge into fissures, weave riddles of meaning. I peer through flames beyond.

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