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by Allison Grayhurst

Hours near the composers,
full nights healing through slumber
And the cavity within is like gasoline
spilled on water, expanding, making rainbow
poisonous hues.

Many times I thought I was free, but still
I was driven by obsession, metaphysical but
destructive, driven to explore that which cloaks
a form but never reveals a face.

Tempted, in an old land, wasting time. Because
my fountain has lost its theme, it drips without flow, without gusto.
And I allow myself to be extravagant where I should be frugal, losing
my energy like blood into the tiger’s expanding jaws.

I allow myself to be reigned by addiction —
each hand moving the demon-stone, surging with
desperation, red and pulsing for relief.

Cold endurance. Cold hours in the morning when
I am left alone with myself, forced to discipline this
phantom monster. It is hard not to get absorbed
in its other-worldly folds. It is hard
to hold tight
to my personal religion.

Copyright © 2011 by Allison Grayhurst

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