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The Beetles of The Paris Catacombs

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Eric Ashford
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2022 4:35 pm

The Beetles of The Paris Catacombs

Post by Eric Ashford » Thu Apr 28, 2022 9:01 am

They move through osseous sockets and tubes,
rest on mattresses of swarming Springtails,
pallid feelers finding ways through limestone,
through the riddled and broken.

They are not miners, more like blind mice they scurry.
They journey within a honeycombed clock
where time is heaped and must be stored.

We are a curious parcel of voyeurs,
matrons with cowed or unruly children,
bearded youths in rain slickers and hiking boots,
loud middle-aged Moroccans - our mouths open
as we gulp up the shut-in light.

I allow the group to move ahead of me,
the better to listen to the beetles and the bones
as they tunnel into each other.

Hard forewings lift and rattle,
a chitinous flight of sound;
words in dry shins, in brittle canals,
in the caps and shells of piled skulls,
a symbiotic duet of sorts,

an underground tale without a tongue
to guide any thought,
yet it scuttles over the mind.
a requiem for the twice removed,
the long unearthed.

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