"A     l      l     a     h      u     -     a      k     b     a      r" 

is a sound like none other, coming from Whom, from Where, Ann cannot say, either rolling across the Plains—East to West—or echoing—ear to ear—inside her own addled brain… r e s o u n d i n g l y …a Doppler Effect, in effect, stretched unto Infinity…

"A     l      l     a     h      u     -     a      k     b     a      r" 

galvanizes the silence, shivers grass to its roots, makes hair stand on end; Ann’s, like thistle, halos her head and extremities, midday nap interrupted by the twice-repeated call…

"A     l      l     a     h      u     -     a      k     b     a      r"
thrice-repeated call, no mistaking it; wide awake, on her feet, Ann queries the static Air, as if its charge were due to something corporeal—lightning from the heat, Wind through sagebrush, clouds about to clash in the throes of a Summer storm—but all is perfectly tranquil for as far as her senses reach…

"A     l      l     a     h      u     -     a      k     b     a      r"


while a vacuum left by the fourth phrase l e i s u r e l y fills: with buzzes—flies on the wing again; chirps—a choir of nearby thrushes; skitters—claws on rock where lizards recommence their search for grub worms…


soot, the ash from Morning’s fire adheres to gums and cavities in the few teeth left to chew a daydream’s gristle—"thup," Ann spits; her tongue distends a mouth collapsed and creased like a jack-o-lantern’s grimace once decay has drawn the pumpkin’s flesh into sunken, shrunken folds, her cheekbones jutting over flaccid jowls like equidistant gallows, framing nostrils flared from…


testing smells through upraised snout, nose whiskers whistling with each inhalation: dust… more dust… and crotch-rot (‘pugh’); Ann’s genitalia have not suffered soap for many moons, an erstwhile hygiene, with her menses, long-since stanched; there was no use for antisepsis (even less for perspicacity)…


toes, on topsoil, knead a score of intimate impressions as Ann squats, discharges yellow dribble from her sagging center, age afflicting every withered portion of a body bowed by Gravity, like a milkweed pod whose shriveled husk will soon release its seed; Ann’s spirit rummages for the slightest instigation to abandon that which owes its debt to dirt, to mud, to a quickening drop of rain…


monkeys where there be none; Ann, of late, indulges fantasies that the bane of her existence comes, by sundry means, to gloat, to mark the passing of a their ‘nemesis’ (had she mothered any offspring, suckled something more portentous than infernal wails and woes); the sight of Geezer, therefore—flanked by Messrs. See No, Hear No, Speak No—fails to shock a psyche used to phantoms; Ann regards each wryly, lifts her hand as if to count the foursome… threesome… twosome… one… so it was Do No Evil…


for the first time rapt, Self-absent, disabused of isolation, put in touch with links re-coupled, with conglomerates recomposed; an overlapping, intertwining, coalescing, supra-consciousness replacing what Ann misperceived as boundaries Reason-drawn. How misinterpret mind and matter as estranged or unrelated when the pores in touch with Earth and Sky are of the selfsame stuff? A disembodied thought is neither Here nor There, a BLINK more viable…


metaphysically shedding that which keeps the Real from Real, the skin revitalized as a membrane, less partition, more connection between that without and that within, without/within congealed, upon a Sphere recycling cycles like a chicken laying clutches—‘Which came first; the hen, the egg?’—by Chaos answered.


"CAWS," are heard…

a tang of blood corrupts Ann’s mouth


its scent of Death conspicuous

limbs trade sentience for torpidity

sight asks Night to stay for lunch

the I, with not I, makes acquaintance

gist abandons its integument

causing Ann to fall


upon her shriveled breasts

and stomach

like a door

relieved of hinges

like a domino






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