The Skeleton Dance

Death crawls behind my eyes

like darkness seeping from the end

of the tunnel that drains the light

of day away at dusk and blackens

it for night, pulling down the sun

and sucking its stellar siblings into airless

voids that snuff out their lambent fires;

but then my dilating pupils draw in

the rising moon that makes death’s

frail bones glow white, its bleached teeth

grinning from cheekbone to cheekbone

as it resurrects itself, tilts back its skull,

and rattles its feet into the dance.

 

Copyright 2017

T. Allen Culpepper

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Going Toward Darkness

Nothing going toward darkness

stops that early, though it moves

haltingly, loitering half-shadowed

between moonbeams, alternately

lobbing fears at your window

and slinking back behind

nightmare trees. Anxious

agitation winds you up in sheets,

but the tangled covers cover

nothing; going toward darkness

you shiver, cold, exposed.

Note: Based on a deconstruction of Mark Strand’s “The Coming of Light” for a workshop led by Jericho Brown.

 

Copyright 2017

T. Allen Culpepper