The Well

She says don’t speak to me of the well, and shows me

Her house, the colour of sun-bleached brick and wiped clean beige counters

Wedged into the coast with many, no beach line, houses half sunk


The top, unlucky level thirteen, cold dread rationed from above

A maze of bedrooms, torn butcher’s paper loud in the wind

Drawn through the crawl in and die spaces, she’s slept in them all


At the bottom a stair, a basement, a cupboard, a breach

An earthen shaft, lousy with wet

The ocean counting in waves, flushing us down


Light stained by brown water, a rise and then a dip

And then dry clay too deep for roots

A line of memory a long way back up


I see the well, below

I see hellfire, horn crowned lords, the classics

But I don’t understand


She says

Don’t speak to me of the well

It goes deeper still

You see the top


She says

You draw from the bottom

You dig forever down

You are well past the sight of others


She points, wings, chains, blood and iron


Says, these are things like any other

They are solid, make sense


You do not need the rules to be real


Hell is where the fire comes from

And there is fire here to burn anything

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