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Tuesday, February 07, 2023

The Corruption Within

A few nights ago, I dreamed that I was in my 20s again. I was walking through downtown Edmonton, and my fingers hurt. They were swollen, and the pain was blunt as a hammer blow. I stood on the sidewalk as 90s-era ETS buses passed by, and looked down and wrapped the fingers of my left hand around my right index finger. I formed a tight ring around the base of my index finger and felt something squirming inside. I moved the ring forward, forcing whatever was inside my finger toward the tip. When I could feel the cyst or whatever it was at the tip of my finger, I looked and saw that a blister was forming--a greenish blister with something wriggling through the thin skin. I pushed and strained until that blister popped, and like some form of hellish toothpaste, a dark green slug-like pustule slid free. Disgusted, I flicked my finger to fling the corruption away, then looked inside the hole left behind. Instead of bone, there was a dark tunnel inside my finger, but the flesh was clean and pink and the missing bone didn't alarm me at all; instead, I felt relief. 

I repeated the process on two more fingers on my right hand, then two more on my left. I felt like I'd had a narrow escape. And then, startled, I looked across the street into the eyes of the camera watching me, the camera that was the older Earl in the "real" world, watching his dream. My dream. 

Boneless fingers, clutching at the bottomless well of time. 


Jeff Shyluk said...

edamame beans
a midnight snack finger food
to be avoided

Earl J. Woods said...

It was more like beetle-shaped wasabi, but I love the poem nonetheless!

Jeff Shyluk said...

Cronenberg does not
parse wasabi in haiku
does that blow your mind?