handful_ofdust: (stranger)
I tried to get this done in time for Lovecraft's birthday, but it didn't work out. Today, however, things are apparently different--I fitted it up to my own satisfaction within minutes. Enjoy.

JAR OF SALTS

I found it here, under the floorboards,
labelled in a spidery hand: O nameless name,
old ancestor, return. I swear, if I am asked,
to speak these words, pray to no known god,
burn herbs, pour out the contents,
mix well with blood (my own will do), and wait.
The stopper, a plug of wax, is flecked
with grains of dusty incense—
a charnel odor at the back of the tongue,
unexpellable, sussurant, sere.

Who knows who hid it here? Who laid
these clues, a widdershins path, for me
to follow? Who sends me dreams of deep
and rocky fathoms, drowned bells tolling?
I only know I was not made like others,
my jawbones traced with the fluting
of unopened gills. How, reading these labels,
I feel my eyes already burn, begin to bulge.
The smell of salt is everywhere, sick-fragrant,
like decay—muck and silt, old entrails, slime.
All the varying grossness of some fruiting trench
that rings this world, Leviathan-vast,
where sunken Ys’s gates gape still, waiting.

This much I feared, even before I opened it:
Those of my blood live long, then fall
forward, into water. The open hole
at the dead sea’s bottom. So what matter
whose name I call now, in the gathering dark?
Our echo thrums forward, cleaving stone to bone.


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