UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY - 04/2012
The house was dark except for that 40 watt bulb
which we stared at, open-eyed and silent. Our Hair and skin falling away from us
until all that we consisted of were two eyes attached to brains sitting in gleaming white skulls
grinnin', staring at that 40 watt bulb,
dangling like the open nerve of some ever ascending holy light
an angel in flames, swaying back and forth casting stark shadows on the wall,
and there we stood, staring at the 40 watt bulb.
Somewhere in there, our teeth shook from our mouth and littered the hardwood floor like kernels of dried corn. The ivory sound of primitives trying to chant the sun into existence again.
But who needs the sun when you have the ever-lovin' light of Edison? When you have Tungsten and volts racing through your spine like some sort of new Neuroreceptor? While our hair grew into a fine moss on the floor and started creeping up the walls like kudzu, our finger-nails curled downwards and rooted into the joists like ten-penny nails or the roots of a Cyprus tree. Some umbilical cord of dead cells connecting us to the womb of the house,
and we just stood there, staring at that light.
holding skeletal hands and grinning
because we have no skin or muscles for any other type of facial expression.
Staring at a 40 watt bulb - glazing our eyes into marbles and melting our brains like a wax candle at wick’s-end.
And our skin, piled at our feet like loose robes of a monk, like the husks of dead buffalos in cornfields, was beginning to wither and brown. But there we were, staring at 40 watt bulb,
that burst into flames,
and burned the house down.
Cody Badaracca grew up in North Routt County, Colorado, near the town of Clark. He sometimes dreams about living in the desert of New Mexico or the bayou of Louisiana – if for no other reason, the mild winters and variety of reptiles.
© 2004-2012 Underground Voices