by Philip Jason

The slowly heating darkness
buried at the heart of a pile of leaves

The wild younglings always come for it,
and I

am prone to look away from its destruction.
What a disappointing thing it is
to watch the exposure of that center.

Or any center like it.
I bet the first person to open a body
was disappointed to discover

the slimy organs holding each other like children do
when they hide in a closet from thunder

and not a gateway
to the throne room of God
or a circus of writhing shadows
or a mirror.

Philip Jason’s stories can be found in magazines such as Prairie Schooner, The Pinch, and Ninth Letter; his poetry in Spillway, Lake Effect, The Indianapolis Review, and Hawaii Pacific Review. His first poetry collection, I Don’t Understand Why It’s Crazy to Hear the Beautiful Songs of Nonexistent Birds, is forthcoming from Fernwood Press. For more information, please visit