Sudden unease in the palsy
rattling each word, keeping
the voice more stable than
the pen, moving around images,

bobbing in the ripples of names,
what a strange sea this world
has become, what dangers float
below the surface, where breaths

become impossible. Best not open
your eyes while submerged in it.
The terror might make the wading
seem futile, less like survival than

the real sharpness moving around
down there. Rocks worn jagged by
the molten movement of time, jetting
up with the intensity of an entire

planet, only to be cooled instantly
as a monument to the powers of
the universe, subdued by its own
skin, fields of these towers make homes

to the strangest, most terrifying
predators. Webs hang high above
the summits, invisible amongst
the mucky flow, adhesive as death,

counting on the prey to wind themselves
further and further down, impaling itself
on the serrated peaks. The worms, so small,
finally move up on slimy bellies, from nests

deep in the crevasses, millions of them,
at the first trace of blood in the brine, devouring
their struggling catch, usually a billion times
the size of any individual, completely, then

each stands on end, every one of them, and
they release their single strand straight up,
anchoring it, before they head back into
the still unseen bottom to finish off

any bones that may have fallen further down.

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