The eels trail behind them flowing blue tails
that shine purple under the artificial light, as
they swim through the water thickened with
gelatinized cartilage, among the skeletons of
their unidentifiable and intermingled victims.
The human prisoner suspended above them
holds with his good hand one of the bars of
his cage. The puncture wounds on his other
hand will not close, and his blood drips into
the open maws of the beasts that desire him.
He whistles what he prays to be the musical
password to the robot guardian that, despite
its believably human form, does not actually
breathe, but reveals in its glass eyes a flicker
of the spark that animates its ceramic frame.
What passes from his cracked lips, however,
is just a meaningless song. He has forgotten
too much of his dreams, and the empty hulk
stands as still as a jaguar that waits for a bird
to return to its nest and its tender hatchlings.
Now the skin of his injured hand turns clear,
and the network of blue veins conveys what
appears to be smoke up a white bone ladder
and into the lightless recesses of a body that,
for the time being, can still experience terror.
Gregory Kimbrell is a gay, furry writer who uses poetry as a means to exercise his imagination and create fantastical and surreal new worlds and to explore, and locate his own, sexual and social identity. He likes to reclaim the tropes of science fiction, horror, B movies, and period dramas and experiment with form and compositional strategies such as erasure, predictive text, and magnetic poetry. His guiding lights include Aase Berg, Anne Carson, Haruki Murakami, and Armand Schwerner.