It’s your mind I wish to explore,
crawl in through your ear, listen
for the sound of a stream or air
escaping along some old
trail, looking for stalactites
that might suggest the presence
of ancient yet ongoing thoughts.
Dark cave, I don’t recognize
these paintings, though I have been told
all the stories, kept records
jotted notes to guide me, this map
is useless, where should be paths
is walled up, where you said nothing,
rich and untapped veins, cavern
paintings. I’ve never noticed you.
Here I find a doorway adorned
with a glyph I sense to know,
no word I could describe, something
of our wedding night, or first
anniversary, or first kiss.
I open it, and can smell
the scent of dinner and candles.
The ceiling is low, covered
in cards of no occasion, cork
from bottles of vino, stuffed
animals strewn about the floor,
music whispering along
the walls from some broken speaker.
The light penetrates almost
nothing. Is this how you love me?
Out in the cave again, voices
off in the distance yelling
at one another, wrestling
over a horn leading down,
one can only hope to assume,
to the mouth, yelling, screaming,
shoving each other, your silence.
I watch but say nothing, spot
a girl in another corner
hunched over a wooden desk,
she senses my presence, looks up
smiles, promises to tell
no one and giggles, the first sign
that I could be welcome here.
The innocent understand love.
The cave rumbles, and so I think
it’s time to pack up and leave,
you may be waking or starting
some awful dream. So I’ll grab
my gear, and head back on the path
where I came, look for the light,
for the ear that was my entrance.
Passed the screaming voices, passed
the hidden rooms, never seeing
the long dripping memories
strung from the ceiling. I assume
they lie somewhere far from here.
Mine was a short visit, a brief
trip to this world I can’t know,
and know I can never return.
Waking, you spot my smiling face,
eyes gleaming back at you. You
grin and ask what I am looking
at, what I was dreaming. Yours
were strange, unsettling, not bad,
but odd. You recall laughing
and then missing someone dearly.