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BEFORE THE GROTTO ❋ Jessica Schouela

After a night of quasi-bloody knuckles,
and red-rimmed eyes
I am in the mood for blue-green,
for cerebral coasts;
I wish to return to my grotto
to spend the night in my own company.

I expect to hear sounds
of animal syntax
voices coming from natural sarcophagi,
ghosts singing me lullabies,
because I am too old
to listen to such songs
sung by other adults, living.

If we could only form an allegiance
with outer space,
we might succeed in
making an order of things.

If only we could see things
through telescopes, then microscopes,
then pixelated and only then in focus,
perhaps we would replenish our brains,
with emotional electrolytes,
find a new means for compassion.

We are undone by our boredom
and sing songs around the fire
alongside Alex playing
the acoustic guitar.

Perhaps if it were just the two of us,
we would howl like wolves
and wait for the response
in our own voices.