Muzzle

Brian Clifton

BPR 47 | 2020

In the dark, the records were turning
dead wax into static—its fine blue
light, the music below its hiss.

The basement curled
into itself like a segmented worm.

Once my body was a room for rent:

one word and then another
burrowed in the hollow stomach.
              The children were asleep;

                      the stereo turned low.
The basement wavered before

retracting its unmeasurable body into the night’s

wet sand. It had been months. It had
                      been years. How many?
I could not count. But still,

this body within a body—
a fish tank and a ragworm.

In the basement, I turned as if a metal spindle

were lodged within. The dark,
like a needle, dragged
across me—its diamond tip,

barbarous. Static seeped
out of the speakers like a tail, no,

an entire body. It curled around me.