The Spiral Pilgrimage

Maurya Simon

Rome, October 382 B.C.

I mill around.
I spill my thoughts.
I spool them up again.

I dream of wheelbarrows
bearing pyramids
of entrails.

I set fires:
to the damask curtains,
to locks of Silla’s hair.

I cannot eat—
I scald my hands,
uproot the garden.

A dead mouse
paralyzes my will.
I shred my veils,

and collect aphids
in a broken conch.
I bury that.

I retch on emptiness,
sadness my
sanctum sanctorum

How to go on?
How not to?
I could drown,

am drowning,
drenched in dross.
Or is this drought?

I’m lost: a zero
minus its circumference.
My thoughts zigzag

back and forth
from this void to
the one beyond.

I am lost, lost—
barely a gloss
on sorrow’s map.

Work that appears on the KR web site is from The Kenyon Review and all applicable copyright restrictions apply.

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