Poems from The Journey to Kailash XIII

/ Saturday, April 30th, 2011 / 2 Comments »

The Thirteenth Hell

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Her voice in my ear said,
look, look.
Though I squeezed my eyelids shut,
hid my face in my hands, I could still see it.

I pressed my fingernails in,
hooked my thumbs and pulled,
like so many here before. And
she said, look, and I could still see it.

I crawled to the wall,
slammed my head on the stone,
found the cracks in the bone and clawed.
Her voice in my brain said, look,
and I could still see it.

I scrabbled at the ground
turned soft by my blood,
made a hole deep enough to force
my head in. She whispered from the earth,
look, look, and I could still see it.

The mud has swallowed me.
Things there feast on what’s left
of what I used to be. And she
is one of them, her mouth moving
in my skull. Look, she breathes, look,
and I can still see it.

            for Laird Barron

“The Thirteenth Hell” first appeared in print in The Journey to Kailash, Norilana Books, 2008. Copyright © 2008 by Mike Allen. Reading by the author, © 2008. Art courtesy of http://rieger.wikispaces.com.


  1. […] DESCENT INTO LIGHT Mike Allen's Home Page  « Poems from The Journey to Kailash XIII  […]

  2. […] Russian edition of Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year One, which contains my poem “The Thirteenth Hell.” This is the first time my work has ever been translated. It’s neat to see my name in […]

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