I am anesthetized to the pain

that consumes me, alive

my flesh is sliced

to the bone

picked up like a worm

dangling loose


dropped with a wet smack 

oozing off the small scale

which tips expertly to the mark

that represents a pound.


I’m riding down the Nile

long and twisted,

a journey

ferried by the boatman

who demands his flesh

one per league

he removes slowly

fileting strips to weigh. 


He smiles continuously

a white jawbone grin

that protrudes gleaming

cold beneath his hood.

I lay back in the soft rocking skiff

breathing in the dense fumes

methane and sulfur

stale and wrenched it lingers

thick above the water.


The ferryman looks up

with a crackle,

empty orbs reach through me

still grinning he rises

takes the pole once more

into his bones

with the slight gurgle,

of lift and plop

he propels us through the bog.


The sky distorts,

keeping watch

my body numb,

stuck in flames,


back and forth

as I cut  

through the thick orange mist.

This is the beginning.

first stage of a journey

I have made times before

trying to find

the lost city of Acceptance.


Legend tells of it residing

atop Deprest Mountain,

far beyond the Cliffs of Anger

in the Land of Sanity.

this passionless journey

I have only my flesh and blood

to barter for my soul. 

Published by James Gabriel