Today's poem is by Brian Barker
Nightmare for the Last Night on Earth
Through the hole in the back of my head
I could see the room
a metal bed, hooks, a pulley, a tub of water.
The light flickered
as if a Ferris wheel churned
inside the cement wall.
In the shadows, a hooded man handcuffed to a radiator.
He was sprawled in a dark puddle.
He was so small, he was disappearing, his ribs
glistened like black grains of rice . . .
I heard chattering in the distance,
something guttural and moist, like an army
of worms tunneling through the white screen of sleep,
their soft beaks scraping the windowpane . . .
I opened my mouth and nothing came out
This was the last acquiescence:
my silences rose to heaven like handkerchiefs on fire.
Copyright © 2011 Brian Barker All rights reserved
from The Black Ocean
Southern Illinois University Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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