Rashbi Underground – Yonah Lavery-Yisraeli

1. exile

blackening bellyend
stalagmite jawsnap
blinded white scrabblers
boneless worms blanched fingers

here beneath bloomless trees
earth chokes up an eyeless pool
like minnows like spiders
I bury myself deep

the small caves of my skull
darkdrowned still search for
the vanished abandoned
scrolls of the surface world

foxhunted fishstudent
fitfully dreaming my
trogloxene daynightmares
exposure extinction

forgive me my teacher
I will not compare you
eaten up by strangers
to life in echoed earth

I regret the last time
I saw you I asked you
questions of law as you
quaked in the iron dark

if I could crush my skin
tear my hair fracture bones
why do I languish here
weakness leads to weakness

worldburning woundworming
rage infects me wraps me
builds beneath my eyelids
blinked back until I rise

2. the child

whose face peers back at me
from under the tree roots
is that me in a pool
or has the darkness foaledhis shape shakes the cave
rattling hard and black
a carob seed in the fruit
of my dream of revenge

what should I do with him
water him bind his shoots
cut every failing leaf
and at last chop him down

I will carve from his camber
spears for my enemies
hew from that red heartwood
barbed arrows bending bows

3. the surface

wargull clouds plunge their beaks
in day’s pale dead stomach
I hear their hissing crowcroak
vapours lift and combine

ga ga go the jackdaws
as I gag on fresh air
ga ga go the jackdaws
as the ground vomits grass

ga ga go the jackdaws
haec precor hanc uocem
ga ga go the jackdaws
I do not forgive them

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