stone – Madeleine St Romain

Madeleine St. Romain

There was no room.
I put the box down under the seat and sat down hurriedly,
Pretending that I was still at home and still happy.
Not here,
Sitting on a hard chair in the cold,
Waiting to get in a word.
This madness is not mine.
No gnomic goofy wisdoms,
No pronouncements.
You should be frightened
Because I’m frightened.
Let’s be on the same side.
That would be best.
You asked me here to demonstrate my work.
Open open open the box
Open open open the box
Open open open the box
Crawling words scrawled all over it
They’ll burn fast.
She changed first
As the conference room blazed around them.
They were soon to be meticulously kept
Deep in the basements of the Institute
To slowly cool on tempered metal tables.
We’ve got a ride to catch.
We need to leave her.
Aren’t we supposed to kill them?
That would take hours or a sledgehammer.
She’ll wake or not.
I think we can get her arms into a backwards big labcoat.
It’s got pockets.
Lighter, matches, waterbottle
Scalpel in a sheath, scissors, box cutter, socks
Big grey bandanna, bandages, notebook, pencils, pens
And your copies of the keys
Aspirins, antibiotics, epipens
Stone or something like it
Barely discernible heartbeat
Slow slow breaths
Sheet with a strong don’t notice
Bye bye little monster
I hope dogs don’t eat you.
I hope it doesn’t hurt.
But what strange vehicles,
As the buildings fell around them,
Went out into the night
Never to return?
The jaunty daring explorers patrol the ruins.
Again and again, looting, they search past her.
I open my eyes in the dark
Lying on a metal table.
I feel the grooves and the raised letters.
I felt the chill
Stood up and walked again.
Bone face speak to me
From the lighter lit cabinet glass.
Tell me where to go
And what to talk to.
I grope my way up.
The dark ramp coils, splits, and rises again.
I follow it, one hand on the wall,
And walk through the broken parking deck
Out into the green.
Sun and kudzu
Fallen buildings
Tumbled concrete and a likely road.
Where am I?
And what are you?
Such a big space to be negotiated.
Should I talk at you?
I need to consider each word.
Such a big space to be negotiated.
I look ahead and around.
But then here we are
In the glare.
In the glare,
I can still see you smile.

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