Extreme Caving

You fold inside out, crawl inside
your dark, cool self.
In the cave of you, your heart drips,
walls smell of wet stone, mold.
The wind’s lips are silent.
Outside everyone is laughing, holding
hands, coupling. Weeks, months,
years of rubble seal you in.

If you lit a match, what would you see?
Eyeless spiders, blanched salamanders, bats
wrapped in tattered wings— They sense
your presence, your breath, the dark pulp of you—
sense your thoughts
(everything you ever wanted
to forget)
unraveling like shadows. You see only
the black bulk of your own scarred stone
only shattered blood vessels—lightning
flickering in your blind sky, scarlet
flights of wings at nightfall—
Midnight has never been this dark.
Even echoes lose their way.

Go to sleep— sleep.
What else can you do? It’s too bright,
too wild outside with stars rivers birds wheels
sun trees roads wind—oh the wind!— how it
stirs everything with rough invisible fingers.


Suanne Fetherolf lives in New Jersey where she earned her MA at Drew University. She teaches English and creative writing. Her work has appeared in such journals as Spoon River Poetry Review, Gravel Magazine, and Isthmus Literary Review.

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