Still Water

Still valleys, still trees
They gaze upon me solemnly
and I am aware of the distance
that laps at our feet: still water.

The mountains bear down on me,
clench me like a vice in the teeth
of perdition. The sky, too, in its
grey disdain, mocks me

and I slide down into my own
shame as into quicksand,
gasping with a mouthful of hot
dust. Mortification – la mort,

salvia, saliva, my vegetative
habit, a wish for the lichen to
embrace me, as though I were
a mountain, to extinguish me

An erosion, siphoning fire
wave by wave, until I am
assimilated and well-acquainted
with my still darkness, still water,
still grave.

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