I. Thesis: Our Better Angels, Enhanced (An Abstract) It arrives with a stampede of fear: Mutant beasts & creature shocks From the unknowable future, Chimerae, haunt these humid grottos; Trampling down our dusty corridors We are captured in their future echoes; winded, They bear the built-in missives of extinction & unravel before our eyes. Our labyrinthine thoughts String us across space & time; They draw us out through cul-de-sacs Into an onerous coda, A radio silence bookending Our most plaintive swansongs: I sing the body eclectic. II. Evidence: Circumstantial, Monumental, Eternal, (Circular!) You harbor the suspicion That this taste in your mouth, The grit of bone & char on your teeth, This familiar foretaste of knowable Poison & plumbed nectars, Has doomed us to circle Back through the maze. We look upward at skies Full of soaring tsuru,
Rising & whirling in strange unison, Like galaxies conjoined in revolution But in reverse in the silent dark, & We wonder what lies beyond The surface of their eternal curve. But we find only saturnine undertows From leaden worlds tugging at our feet Compelling us to devour Our children's unworn hearts. Same as it ever was. III. Evidence: Apocryphal, Speculative, (Tabloidial!) It is said that hidden Within these infinite walls regressing Is a garden concealing the vast insides Of tick-ticking seeds & red-mouthed flowers Hungering for that singular, mitochondrial kiss; They say the Great Attractor hides Behind the lights engraved In a dying galaxy's weakened arms. It is ♄e who draws us in, closer & finer, Lures us with ♄is hidden hand & the promise of new worlds beyond Binary limits & the thousand heroic faces Etched on a thousand impassive walls. So they say. IV. Conclusion: Final Rebuttals (A Digest, Of Sorts) But the tree of madness Writhes within us, mirrors us, Mocks our foreheads marked By dried mud & shame, Mimics the contortions In our char-cold hearts; Those internal black suns Hide wine-dark pockets of time And speak of unseen matters In empty chambers, Unknown even to us. & still we take a bite, chew the chalk Of whitened ash & bits of blood-seed; We let it mingle with the knowledge & aftertaste of last rites; We let it forever linger on the tongue In a smooth, ashen finish. (&) in the end there was no end
Ryu Ando lives and works in Los Angeles. His writing has appeared in a number of speculative fiction and poetry journals including Strange Horizons, Liquid Imagination, Pidgeonholes, Unbroken, and many more. His first poetry collection, published by a...p Press, will appear in late summer 2016. He can be found online here: https://ryuando.wordpress.com/ and on Twitter @ryu_ando_98.