Poem a Day/ April 22, 2011 – Murray Dunlap

LOADSTAR/ Murray Dunlap

Following strong behind me

With onyx blackened nails and pure, focused attention

Terrifying, fast and agile, he comes on strong

I turn, razor sharp, and quick, gravel grates

Like so many stones, I fall

He makes up the difference, the delicate difference

And leaps upon my frantic frame, now

At my red, broken knees. The last sight of him, black

And purple beneath greedy eyes feasting

Upon my sandbag body

Now I am inside, consumed, eaten raw

And barely chewed. He walks in my stead, blackened nails

And black and purple beneath his eyes

Booze on his breath and skin gone gray. I am no longer

Visible. My reflection commands a hideous, putrid view

Of a spector, uncolored, rank and meaningless

To my ruminated memory, a memory gone gray

The bastard has vulture’s claws on the inside

And will not let go

Staring up from the pit of his belly. I wallow

In the juices. Hydrochloric acid, bile, the burning

And caustic juices. I can’t stand, I cannot get out

Sometimes I catch a glimpse, old friends passing

In front of this specter’s eyes. Horrified, I see

Him send them away. And so I wallow in the juices

The caustic bile that holds me down, alone


I lie and wait, waiting on a lodestar

To guide me out. I hate where I am and I hate

Myself for being here. So much hate, the bile boils

Over my skin, turning gray to red, boiling red skin

My anger on the outside, showing through like red lace

Beneath a dancer’s veil. Vulture’s claws digging in

And skin boiling red. Waiting on a lodestar

I may be here forever.


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