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Medusa's Cave

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

They slither over skin, a writhing wriggling mass

Of serpent scales, scraping against scabs I have amassed

Dragging through my streaming blood, don’t know if I can last

I need to scratch them out of every single crevasse


I can slash off their heads, but still they thrash, unsurpassed

Squeeze out their innards, retch at the splat as they go slack

Suffocate in snot and rage as hydra heads sprout back

Straining to yank them from my skull, but they hold too fast


I slip, slam, smack, landing on slimy guts in dead black

I screech, scream, weep, smashing them beneath my hands and feet

Fluids spraying, filth seeping, alone with no retreat

Shivering in desolate silence with all I lack


I’m disgusting, slumped in my cave of decay, discreet

The dark inadvertently sheltering as I sweep

Sickening clumps away so I may lay, plead for sleep

As snakes shift and slink their cursed hissing never complete


But sometimes, when I can no longer endure, I creep

Stooped and stumbling, fumbling and reaching, feeling

Crumbling stone and constricting air, stomach reeling

Heart beating bone as I swallow and choke, in too deep


Progressing or repeating, asking soft, appealing

To the sunken ceiling, how much more, steps or vast scores

Of curved corridors, collapsed paths, and opening sores

Searching for an exit no light will be revealing


There’s mournful relief in surrender, strange metaphors

In acceptance that slowly shapes the need to escape

Into an ache, draining strength, subdued as snakes now drape

I slide to the floor, smelling the earth after downpours


Scent drifts into listless consciousness, a spring landscape

Faint in my memory, longing too painful a state,

Let it dissipate; let me stay in scenes I create.

Starved, nothing real or fake can sate this consuming gape


Space alleviates putrescine fumes that nauseate

And though rot festers stuck to my raw flesh, the migraine,

Caused by a stench I used to sense, is less. Can’t complain,

It’s great here, someplace I have yet to contaminate


Someday I’ll be somewhere safe to forever remain,

All I have to do is wait, the swoosh so slight, a lie

A draft through porous rock, surety solidify,

Should I follow the fading fragrance? Mold is not rain.


Refrain from movement, stiff, don’t aggravate, occupy

Your mind, suppress, don’t concentrate, it will all subside

Won’t it, then I can hibernate, but inside, my side

Is seizing, stretching exacerbates, so why retry


I skim my fingers over my shoulders to provide

Distraction or short comfort, I want more warmth, I hurt

I hurt, conserve and squeeze freezing limbs crusted in dirt

As spindly legs traverse up my spine I cry…cried


For as a worm probes my oozing eye I stand, alert

Slick with mucus it’s hard to grip, to pick off my face

And cradle its squirming body as it tries to race,

Escape. Crawlers were scarce before, so can I assert


That there’s a split, that it’s worth chasing, counting my pace

Anticipating, that six forward or twelve reversed

In this spreading radius I’ll learn where worms slake thirst

My fist careful not to squish the hope encased, last trace




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