Into the Woods

Written by: John Heck

I stand neck-high tall
within the quicksand
of my infirmities.
Green and gaunt,
I hesitantly genuflect.

Ravaged tendons and corpuscles
are barely breathing
within the vacant corridors
of a soiled carcass.

My ardor for vindication
has been abandoned.
I presently refrain from accepting
the consultation of 
umbrous soothsayers.

Readers of tealeaves and tarot cards
hurl my infractions towards
the apex of your divinity
and the nadir of my scrutiny.

I espy no Judas rope
(dangling from lofty boughs)
as scores
of unanswered novenas
sleep beneath my fingernails.

Scars flourish upon my skin -
agnate to larvae
and dried leaves.
The density of my marrow
turns moss covered and dank.
Choirs of starving nestlings
bear witness to my afflictions.

Swallowing the last notes
of a disenchanted requiem;
they slowly bind my wrists 
with twigs of knotted reflections -
as Harper Lee's macaws
peck my cheeks and 
the calculated feast ensues.

A murky blanket
of eventide quilts me
in fibers of remorse.
Lesions burst
underneath my skin;
they herald my inhumanity
as I impishly smile.

Connect-the-dot cold sores,
(not found in children’s books)
entwine a raw endoscope probe -
mocking
my charted results.

Inky woodlands
are devoid of carnival mirrors
and inner deliberations.
Such forms
of bun coed celebration minuet
within another's emptied psyche.

The conduits
to my umbra are blocked.

All exits are closed.

So, into the woods I go,
medicine chest-closed
and matchstick available.
Searching for answers
the starving nestlings

formerly consumed.