Spent his life hunched over, carving
symbols with a bleeding hand.
Every night the same dream – an open sky
and a doorway with no key. Boorish
angels challenged him,
crossed wings with bristling feathers
sharp as paring knives. Mirrors
made of polished slate, bewildered
faces floating out of gray pools deep
as the eyes of wolves.
Every morning he would melt
back into light and noise.
He would cross the bridge and wait
for lights to change, watch river’s
surge and feel the undertow pull his shadow
closer to stubble fields burnt beyond a line of trees.
Image: The Devil’s Bridge, St. Gothard, William Turner