Exploring Caves

There is a weight.

It is mortar and pestle grinding
against my limestone ribs, seeping into acid blood
dripping against bone: my insides are a karst landscape
shifting slowly, at a glacial pace,
blood dissolves bone bedrock.

I have been alive for centuries.
I have been alive too long.

I know where most of the dolines are
as my ribs give way
the caves running along intercostal nerves  –
these lead to nowhere but missed
connections and memory caves

of dark places;sometimes
I seek them out and sometimes
I pretend they aren’t there and sometimes
there are sinkholes that catch me by surprise.

I’ve learned not to struggle when they catch me.
It only feels like drowning.

And sometimes the structures shift too rapidly
changing the internal topography of the land
I have tried to learn over centuries,
nail drifting over scars in my skin
searching for the rapid pulse of carbonic acid river
eroding my sternum

to create space for your cheek to rest against.

My body takes wounds
and makes spaces out of them
to hold people I care about.

These scars (can) hold life,
if you follow my hands and rest precisely so.

But I have been alive for centuries.
I have been alive too long.

And now I want to see
bone dissolve into
rivers, everything
holy, everything, river
everything streams,
everything washed away.

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