The old man hardly dents the bed;
chest sinks into a sea-green song's depths.
The candle light flickers, casts shadows
upon the ceiling and wall as if friends
have gathered. The middle of the night
meets the dawn with a fork –
fool's choice offered at the last.
Pinocchio holds the withered hand
that once gently held him; strokes
the knuckles and nails, feels pain as his wood
atomically realigns into flesh - regrets
choices made along the way.
Strings force steps
but at least they offer
an uncomplicated path
'Existence is easy as a tree
or a log to be burnt,' he whispers at three
in the morning. The old man's chest
creaks like an old galley ship
then moves no more.
Pinocchio knows no prayers to say over the body
cannot see the spirit leave the flesh, feels
tears slide down cheeks that once sprouted leaves
instead; cries into the dark 'Geppetto is dead!
Now I understand what it is to be alive,
Geppetto is dead!’ His toes wriggle
to break past the floorboards
and enter the earth – seek sustenance
in a connection to everything abandoned.