Issue 11 | Winter 2023 |



Out of the snake pit, into the spider’s web. This must be
the way dinosaurs felt, feet heavy as planets, trapped
at LaBrea Tar Pits. Swimming though a pool of orange
Jell-O, running the fifty-yard dash on a soft, chewed

bubble-gum track. Flat tire, broken bones, quicksand.
Dizzy from height, speed, lack of reason. If this was
a dream, this would be the part where an alarm clock
goes off, works its way in like a kidnapper. Blindfolded,

held hostage in my sleep. No different than being awake,
riding the subway or a crowded rush-hour bus to work
or a museum. Emptying my linty pockets, throwing
my sins into the Chicago River. Some float, light

as bubbles. Others bob, sink like trouble. Don’t confuse
this with a plea for help, a confession, or an apology.
It’s only an exercise; a warm-up. Like playing scales,
throwing clay, reaching nirvana, or falling from grace.