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As water is forced between squeezed fingers
so is clay. Wet, grey, clammy, collapsed
from wedging. You press fingers together
to contain it, prevent from escaping but it
squirms out between tight molecules.
Outside wind rises. Here drought withers all,
dead waterfall now merely a slash of bleached
rock bisecting dark ravine, a pale tongue of salt,
reflections on walls tell of storms, floods, mudslides
on the other side. Clenched fingers. You dream
of dog’s teeth.
Clay. The animal is bear-sized, off white. Your
fingers lock into its teeth, hold jaws apart from
snapping. Muscles strain, spine and shoulders
dragging teeth apart. How much longer? Animal
stench. Porous or oily? Why clay, why you?
Only a question of time before all strength departs.
Slow. You watch clay escape between your digits.
Oil turns to rock, hardens to teeth. One side chalk
the other liquid between the stars. You solidify.
Ursa Major spread across the sky from point to
point. Wheel spins between your outstretched
fingers. Wild animal hunting across your night.
© Johnmichael Simon
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