Sunday, June 19, 2011


They never tell you that the ladder bones you scale
On someone else’s back
Only mean yours will be the ones someone else
Will climb
Or that you'll scarcely believe how quickly it happens when you’ve barely
Had time to breathe, or see
And by then you’re already gone because
They wrapped something you never really wanted in currency and flags
You thought you'd never salute, but you did
And you do and you will
If you're lucky enough
(And you’ve always been lucky enough)
And then you think of where you've floated, Gimbel-locked
Orientation points scattered
And you see no eyes
Behind the scales
And you hear no purring lies masking the sound of blade
Against sinew
And you realize that chutes are ladders and ladders
Are chutes
The bones go both ways, for everyone, eventually
And where you ought to be isn't wrapped in anything except
A blanket that you should have washed last week
In sleep's symphony and auburn hair and a tiny moon scar, the warmth
Surrounds you like a cloak
You'll never have to climb again

About Craig Lancaster:
Craig Lancaster is the author of the novels "600 Hours of Edward" and "The Summer Son." He lives in Billings, Montana.

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