Tori Arend '10
A veil spun in the water. Thin
like rice paper, it held the heat
of the water; boiled finely.
It was a thermometer a sheet
of mercury wedged under the air,
enclosed above by masonry.
Under this the tongue,
the freshwater ripples, and rows
of tooth-like stones the veil floated
in stove-like heat. Unseen coils
wrapped tightly around roots; sunk
underground into wellspring.
Thick bark began to pulse,
the grass to singe. Birds rested
on branches before lifting
like steam. They flew overhead
while you, on the ground, you pressed
a leaf and held the veined green
until your fingers itched.
You let it go, let it spiral down
shriveled and dry.
By dusk, the leaves have browned,
have stopped circling. The few
burgeoning buds have turned orange
from the heat, and the ground
has softened. The wells stones
its teeth, glow like hot coals,
and the veil in the well spins,
spins further down the mouth
of the long cave. Its fabric disintegrates,
the water evaporates, and you, as you look ,
at your feet, hidden by steam, you
begin to sink further into the ground.