by a cold hand by a silver spool of thread stretched over miles of caves was there a door a garden gate how did we escape the empire hour of poison when amanita spores travel on a song we came here to find a secret name hidden from the empire the Queen became dark light and white-haired root tunnelling black air eating worms the Queen is phosphorescing in the nucleus hour of fester and fern by starlight the Queen picks burrs from her monsoon of jet-black hair by deadnettle flowers beside the pond a trail of glowing fungi lit the path beneath the water we pulled the password from a wound killing animal-me and animal-you digging graves for acorns hour of radishes blisterwort skullcap vigil of limestone the Queen is sharpening her bones thinking of the empire sipping venom
Robert Campbell is the author of the chapbook In the Herald of Improbable Misfortunes (Etchings Press, 2018). His poems have appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, Ninth Letter, and many other journals. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Murray State University and an M.S. in Library Science from the University of Kentucky. Read more about him at robertjcampbell.wordpress.com.