Dun Flank Narrows

Lana Bella

Reduced to a plodding

crawl that went,

and went, nowhere,

he feasted on too many

skies and bled vellum 

of ruddy dye. Ghost-light

combed the cast-back 

rain where fear clothed

in panic carapace,

foul drinks coaxed out

from pelican throat.

A hundred in the shade

and he thought of swamp

water, mud in hands,

mouth of sand, sweat rust

over dun-flank narrows.

Instead, he filled the abyss

to get closer to home,

gauzy abdomen clung to

wasps’ bites, gaze flatlined

out to cleft, pale woods,

blinded by ceremonies of

stars drummed well

into dusk’s latticework,

until stillness gave shape

to what felt through

moss, and tucked him

in like every hand cradled

that dish of ravine earth.