The Dead Well

I see a dead man
Someone who has ceased to exist
His skin is rotting
His jaws are dropping
He gives a violent jerk
And takes a frisky step
His shoulder falls off
Like a maiden’s loose dress
He furiously gives a twist
Gets his shoulder up down his head

He stands beside a well in absolute ruins
Ancient, with a tangle of overgrown weeds
He holds the ropes, heaves and pulls
With his face caught in an inadvertent frown
I slowly float closer, feeling the ground
The bushes are thick with time and grime
I wonder what horrible crime
This wretched place had seen
It reeks of death and grave decayed dreams
I feel icy fingers run down my back
Right down where my delicate spine should’ve sat

The dead man still tugs with all his might
The rope twitches and tears a strand
I peer into the depths of the horrid well
Death itself washes over me,
The smell, the acrid taste, the feel
I open my eyes against the gust
And see a dusty dried up well
With nothing but weeds and misdeeds

I suddenly turn my dangling head
The dead man catches me square in my eye
His clear blues pierce through
I realize it all with quite a start
Tears roll down my sullen cheek
Drop by drop

The dead is none but me in night
And every other singing day in living sight
It’s me drawing from my dried up well
Every time I dip into my slurry ink well
I come up dead and dry
Set my parchment on fire and let me die

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