Poetry

Step 24 (84.)

One space always leads to another,
and now a cavernous maw opens in the dirt.
Wait, it’s exactly what it seems: a tunnel
into what could be an extended cave system.
I lead the somnambulist into the unknown,
and around and within us, I feel no fear.
Gems and crystals creep and gesture from every crevice,
the same colors as the garden treasures above ground,
vermilion, blue, fuchsia, orange, the green that gave neon its name –
they flash from everywhere.
As we walk along,
the colors lose their luster
and the tunnel turns eerily quiet.
A drip resounds from ahead and below,
just one noise at first.
It soon grows to become all we know,
and it encompasses everything we sense.
The steady dripping takes on waves of light
and sends them crashing against our minds,
so we see and do not see –
a dancing light show jumps from the darkness below,
and it leads us into a monstrous cavern.
Or a cavernous monster;
who’s to know?
The lights hit us harder, and the dripping gets
louder, and its resonance traces back
to an immense underground lake.
I look at my companion,
they nod,
and we
advance into the subterranean waters.
All the lights
stop. Total darkness.

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