books don't close; their swollen lips
curve upward in a crocodile smile,
a pout to pull anyone back in
to the fray—the fringes of
conscious just below in shark fins
and dog ears. but i can't go
back through an iron gate:


black period, the edge of a blank
canvas, clicking into place like the lock
on a doorknob. the way is sealed.
my death rattle buried in the crackle
of one last page turn brought down
on silence and angel wings,
to motionless and held breath,
for me.

damn wordy maggots chewed straight
through me, cut out the cushions
around my brain, the calluses around
my heart. all I hear are drums
of lost tongues, the scrape of my
mind against the roof. Damn chains
of maggots lined up ate all my insides
and cleared away the rot.

i'll put daisies in my hair.