The Cave (Portrait #8)

Elan Mudrow

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The lamps bob in between echoes. They can only reverberate for so long, then disappear around a curve.

So we tether together, in small groups of nonsense

It is our belief that we will come to the end, turn around, and find the hole that led us here.

The darkness frightens as it exhilarates. Light belongs to the outside, unless we fake it. We bring it in, a one-sided light, to see death.

But not the kind we know.

We have little recognition of what was swept away inside this tube, the greens, browns of them all.

Once, birds flew to eat them, colors, when the sun revealed reflections, before the lava carved a new direction.

Now we are birds who cannot fly, fluttering about in a search. We don’t need to eat, we are filled to the brim.

Candy wrappers litter the cave floor like plastic feathers, stepped upon…

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