The splintering was loud
in the walk from the Dining Hall
and, easy as pie, it
unhinged, unlatched, the wood
unlocked its edges from its edges
and the traps dropped free,
fell through me, wrenched all my grain,
the aftershock shocked my arms, my legs,
I felt it - that breaking message from the head -
kneejerk keys turned late, too late
to prevent the scream of wood, the cover
tear, and planks clatter down
to lie still there, warped and broken,
useless now.

And blackness like a tide flowed up
uncovered, spreading and congealing me 
with ink and stain -
my own jailer
not vigilant enough 
to keep the cover on,
to keep the beast from breaking free
to squeeze my days in his large hands 
to squeeze my head
and squeeze my life from me
as if I were a piece of fruit
all pith and rind
all citrus on the tongue
and of no use to anyone.
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