M. Stone - Poems (3)
in early December,
hunting dogs are set loose.
All afternoon, baying
ricochets between hills.
A hound appears
at the meditation center,
his tracking collar
a mechanical parasite.
and visible ribs glide
beneath saggy skin.
A number is painted
on his side. He stands
panting in the shadow
of a serene Buddha statue.
Enlightenment seekers shy
from his insistent snout.
The groundskeeper arrives
in a battered truck, sends #22
trotting toward the woods
with karmic seeds clinging
to his coat like burs.
I dream you are covered in eels.
Dozens traverse your skin, render it
a topographic map of gunmetal streams.
You stand before me, bearing the weight.
Each snake-like fish has your lover’s eyes.
Their mouths gasp in unison, revealing
spiny teeth. As they inhale,
your body deflates. You do not struggle;
you do not cast them off. Your flesh is
stretched taut over bone, yet your
long-suffering Mother Mary smile
does not fade.
Our tentative steps
follow a flashlight guide
through corridor mazes
of this hospital turned
We inhale the scent
of pent-up decay lingering
in the electroshock treatment
room with its flaking lead paint
and dust motes carried on the gloom.
Upper floors offer panoramic
river and mountain views, while ivy
tendrils climb the morgue window,
painting glass with a soothing green hue.
Weeds now take root in the caged rooftop
garden, but nestled in a dormer alcove,
a vase filled with dried blue wildflowers.
(Text © M. Stone - Publication: August/September 2017)