Friday, August 5, 2011

Castle Rock

Lord of the Flies inspired. 

Castle Rock

They foraged, they swam,
they dug at the base of roots,
they willingly refused to take showers
pioneers. They pinched, they washed,
they splunked clay rocks and drew
self-portraits on the riverbank,
deformed and bleeding onto the
ferns and salamanders watching their every move. 

It wasn't a particularly novel idea,
an exploratory committee. Who cared if the sun 
stopped nourishing their skin, stopped
the freckles from peeking out under the dirt? If the 
waves would devour the moat, and then the castle?

Ralph laid it first: a trap, made of 
weeping fig branches and bordered with fall leaves,
the veined kind, in wet loam and roots.
The pig, broken hind legs and a button nose, 
looked too tranquil, too experienced, too domesticated
to be the catch. "Release it," Jack said. Another 
would come. More fitting of the mantle, a stronger
metaphor. In hazy loops they circled: smoke, 
ships, and triage. Then it happened. Simon found 
the alter, but by then the factions had crystallized,
and the island hung from a mere outcropping.

The fury of the decay! It was inevitable, but 
not unexpected. Swarms chewed the
skin, exposed the ivory structure underneath,
and the wind outlined holes in construction. 
The last to erode was the plaque on each tooth, 
strangely perfect, bits of line bisected and erased.
Suckers from a weeping fig pushed 
its pairs above the undergrowth, from under.

The dead bobbed in the water, but who 
was to say it was to each his own? What of poor
Piggy, stomach acid spilling onto the 
colorful sand near the kelp?

They conquered, stockpiled branches on
hilly plateaus, created an illusion.
Charlatansthey jeered on instinct, roared,
danced. The fire and smoke, it washed out
the clouds, hid the beast from plain sight.
Cadavers. The entire island was covered in cadavers.
When help arrived, all they saw was red, indigo, 
bleached conch shells; a choir of the lightest minds.

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