Mark Leidner

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The Abyss

by Mark Leidner

The abyss describing your physical features
like a child describing a dream house.

You explaining to the abyss that you do not recognize it
and the abyss replying with how much it misses
the you you were before you were born.

The abyss straight up asking you “…?”
and you letting the abyss down easy.

You denying the presence of the abyss later
at a party so ham-fistedly that a partygoer
well-known for wittily dissing the abyss
in the past, asserts not only the presence
of the abyss, but its predominance.

The abyss approaching someone other than you
and inquiring as to your whereabouts—“…?”
and that person giving the abyss your address.

You in the aftermath of an undisclosed trauma
walking hand in hand with the abyss.

You experiencing zero embarrassment
as the abyss struts down the sidewalk
going commando in you and catching
its reflection in the all shop windows.

You explaining the appeal of the abyss
to another human being as a stylish but
uncomfortable couch that folds out
into a comfortable but unstylish bed.

You in the aftermath of an undisclosed trauma
at the abyss’ bedside, watching it being eaten
from within by all the colors of the wind.

You eulogizing the abyss by initiating new
relationships with a few other human beings.

You remembering the abyss on your deathbed
as the best friend you both had and never did.

The abyss disclosing to you the rest of its secrets.

MARK LEIDNER is the author of Beauty Was the Case that They Gave Me (Factory Hollow Press, 2011) and The Angel in the Dream of Our Hangover (Sator Press, 2011)