Three texts
by Paul A. Toth

In the Cavern

at night five trains roll
straight through my living hole
consciousness their sole cargo
loneliness the whole around the hole
to the concentrating camp we go

to think at 3:00 a.m.
wishing we did not give a damn
in the dark awaiting light
at dawn awaiting night
in between we think of other things
inheritances
wedding rings
all aboard the trains that sing
I will bring you everything
and to pieces I return
my darlings

 

Hamartánein

With seashell teeth, his hair sheared by rock,
in feathered shoes from irradiated flocks
of geese misdirected, headed for winter
with cancerous shiver, stood a lonely man,
the last of the damned still living on land.

His gift of atomic resistance
endlessly puzzled research assistants
watching by camera from their bunkers,
statistics proving nothing above persisting
in anything like modes preexisting.

Had he not been so easily deceived,
he would equally deny what they perceived,
for he was convinced by astronomy
of constellations within his anatomy.
In the sky, too, he saw his own lightning,
the shattering gleam of neurology.

Soon and below the earth’s basement ceiling,
scientific evidence became less appealing.
The last inhabitants of concentrating camps
existed in deference to their perceptions,
divided only by nature of their fences.
Underground, vision proved unsound,
above, senses sprung to life from the ground
until on beaches bloomed the same burning roses
wilting in sand gardens under the skin.

They came to their conclusions too late,
superseded by nature’s successor,
her florescent new presence the mandate
of laws unnatural, unreeling, unfolding,
a tragic plot that erased Aristotle.
Soon all was unwritten by nature’s pen
and nothing more would ever grow again,
no ashes afloat the concluding wind.

 

Fat Boy

Daddy save me
from the pool,
the expenditure that tastes like salt,
Mommy, her rank channel,
nothing like the Venice canals,
but what would I know?

Here before your world
I’ve all I want without wanting,
unspoken, simpatico
and silver balloons
floating as we bat them about,
we the masters of the clouds.

Still, despite my relative health,
my apathy cares too much for itself.
Would you join me as if never born
and on our knees swear
as if we could be sworn?

Then we shall recede
into a future of ocean weeds
and by the absence of romance
locate the limitless chance.

Our shadows will live in shadows,
and what projected our facades
shall die in the shallows.
We live stupefied.
One can reach right through us.

And yet,
this is a benefit.

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