The Way of Escape

You find yourself
in a windowless room —
the walls crumbling plaster, gray.

(I know this because I am there too).

You don’t know how long you’ve been there, but you know it’s been a long time, because there’s a hunger in the back of your eyes:  for color, light — carmine, sun-yellow, cobalt.

Your body is stiff, hunched, the bones nearly bent. The ceiling is too low for you to stand, the walls too close for you to lie straight.

Even your breath feels bound.

But there’s a sledgehammer —  (do you see it?) — maybe it looks like a paintbrush, or a pen. Maybe the handle is wrapped in ribbons, or lace. Maybe it takes the form of a guitar, a garden spade — It could look like anything.

You already know.

Take it in your hands. (The art is the way out.)

Lift it — feel the counterbalance of its heavy head, its long handle.

You do not have to be
You do not have to be
You do not have to be
an expert.

You just have to be desperate. Which — look around — you are.

Gray bare walls,
(The art is the way out)
Gray lightless ceiling,
(Lift it now, 
pull back your arms)
That thirst in your throat
(Lift it),
That hunger,
oh, God —

The art is the way out.