sonnet as memento mori

by Paul Ilechko

The view is not great from under the soil

roots piercing the opaque orbs of rotten eyeballs

tissues flaking back into the ochre sludge

of original sin the river having leached

into granite bedrock having hollowed out

its caverns a kind of splendor not available

for those of us with earth forced into our nostrils

our throats jammed full of eggs that surely must

hatch before we get too cold our skulls

as you imagine are never as naked as those

that shine with reflected light in an ancient

masterpiece embedded in chiaroscuro

surrounded by the softly glowing flesh of peaches

angels watching us with their terrible smiles.

Paul Ilechko (he/him) is a British/American poet. Born in South Yorkshire, he now lives with his partner in Lambertville, NJ. He is also a songwriter, and his first album, "Meeting Points", was released in 2021. He makes his living from working in the computer security field, and loves to ride his bike for long distances.

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