19 January 2014


The same joke, hollow,
the rueful laugh, rising
through chambers, empty,
& the prisoner, escaped
after attempt after attempt,
& the cage, expanding,
contracting, set.

In the dark, a new prisoner
throbs on.

No, no. This won’t do. It’s only
a muscle, dumb. Nothing
lurks there but mute blood.
Blood? Hands?
His hands are dry, a little pink.
It’s only a metaphor. Metaphor,
you can go fuck yourself
When he washes his hands,
his mind is a blank.

The prisoner pulses.
Counts off
countless echoes,
an unaccountable din,
dimming, dimming.
A pulse remembers
& forgets. A pulse
hears nothing
but itself.


Gregory Crosby's work has previously appeared in Court Green, Epiphany, Copper Nickel, Leveler, Ping Pong, Paradigm, Rattle, Ophelia Street, Jacket, Pearl, and The Scapegoat Review, among others. He used to be an art critic, but then thought better of it.

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