Washing Up

This strange, unusual place,
How will I ever reconcile
Or indeed escape
From stories they have painted
On the walls of my four caves.
Great tales of sabotage,
I trace a sodden lineage along
Dark ribs in the cobwebby palace
Of a bloated, long-dead whale.

I miss any such season
I am not within;
Endless losses to ego,
I can wage war on myself
Yet hide from my own shadows.
I thought about you briefly
As I washed up clean plates again.
Not so much a memory now,
More electrolytes and impulses,
I slalom life’s whitening streams
And dream of reaching a pool
Or a lake of immeasurable peace.

I know that you want me to be like you.
It would satisfy you, to see me fail again.
You pushed me from your soul-belfry,
Then pealed the burnishing bells
In something akin to horror.

When I have finally conquered my self
Belatedly, too late a Pyrrhic victory,
Will my body arraigned be laid to rest
On that old man’s dusty shelf,
Just until the next unknowable rain.

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