Dangling in the Middle

Sun sneeze 3
By Manuel Gutierrez

After the existential crisis there must be a path
that doesn’t lead to either hedonism or suicide.
If it’s located in the nucleus of some atom
then it’s as good as nonexistent. If the atom were the size of New York
then the nucleus would be the trace amount of opium on the poppy
seed bagel. Mostly empty. An empty empty

that would suck me in in an attempt to fill itself if the Earth wasn’t serious
enough to hold me down. It is the memories of before my birth
and my memories of after your death
and my memories of the dead pet silk worm
given a burial shroud of toilet paper and put into the ground.

I’m trying my best to imagine that I am not the dead
silk worm or a dead silk moth, but just liquefied
living essence pupating in a silk cocoon
suspended between two branches.

And maybe after my metamorphosis I’ll escape
and fly to a higher dimension and everyone will be there waiting
to congratulate me. I don’t want to leak out of a fissure in the chrysalis
like an oozing cyst. I want to gelatinize and seize up and integrate
into something whole, or at least the center of something whole.
I need to find the nucleus.

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