Patterns In Rotting Wood by Chris Crittenden

gills, scabs, cuts,
cyrillics not found in vacua,
dark matter or nix.

fingernails, orts, hemidemi-
brawl of apostrophes,

crows-feet circling
grandmothers’ chins,

duck/rabbit blitz,
codex of muzzles losing shape,
Ark’s freckle and Hyde.

kiss the wood,
hold hear scratch,
scent its zinc lichen—

trace the threads
Atropos snipped,
spiraling up a crush of graves,

obelisks and cairns,
amphoras and fonts,
quarrels flaking into palms,
fugitive from sloppy


who can decipher
this Rosetta of dull hells?
pick it up and it crumbles,
suicidal pantheon, into the fire.