You are so soft, so small

under my palms,

which suddenly seem too large and

thick and ill-adapted

to play with

beautiful things.

And you roll on your back,

and let me touch you,

as if you’d never heard of

the crush of the world,

how it warps and

subdues the trees,

how it piles

the hunch backs

with invisible wreckage,

how it lowers everyone,


under the earth.

You let me

run my rash fingers

through your fur

and I feel your warm bones

and I press down, softly,

but adamantly,

I don’t know why,

perhaps it’s the

crush of the world.

And your eyes open

like two green, embalmed planets,

holding reservoirs

of your eternal hurt.

And the cry that

flits from your tiny life,

like a red moth,

is the cry in me,

in everything,

the primal loneliness

of just being here,

under the crush of the world.


Copyright Ricky Barrow 2014


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