Pain’s pyramid


An approximate pyramid of pain,

Stainless-steel and detergent clean;

Fingers thrusting for a cube of light

Tiny in the tundra of the ceiling;

A hierarchy of hysteria

Appears out of antlered limbs,

Skin shrunk to clingfilmed thinness,

Mouths stretched around mute howls,

Eyes pale sparks in bone-cut ditches.

The children and the older ones succumb,

Then slumber brokenly at the bottom;

The air sucked into a vanishing point,

Movement, unwinding, undone slowly.

Even in this death-dealing hutch

People scratch at counterfeit scraps,

Strain for that square of clarity.


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