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Mari L’Esperance – Ⅱ





Bring it up from the dark, bring it all up,

the spiny fish with their needle teeth

and wands of phosphorescent light,

all that is waterlogged, heavy with its own

unbearable weight, all that is strange,

malformed, lying in shadow—that

crawls and humps and drags itself

along the muddy bottom, making

guttural sounds no human can imagine.

Haul it up into the light as the rusted

pulleys and frayed ropes creak and groan

with their burden—crates of skulls, broken

cars and bodies, sacks of stones, their

horrible tonnage, the lost and discarded, all

that we would rather forget: our angers

and fears, the lives we betrayed, the souls

we abandoned while we looked after

our own comfort and gain. Let’s see them all,

here in the open, unbound and pulsing

with that which was never extinguished,

which survives even death itself, brave

flicker at the black gate of our oblivion.




Note: Part of the first line is from the title of Robert Duncan’s poem “Bring It Up From the Dark”.