The Old One

The old ones stay on the shelves
In the dim caverns they sit bound
Their wood and leather become so heavy that they cannot be lifted
So heavy that they begin to sink into the shelves

The strange curios come down from time to time and describe the old ones
They place their notes in folios on top
The winds come
A tattered page releases into the dim

The strange ones rumor around
The young ones flash
The intrepid creep down
Smelling mould the withered form flakes in hand
A twist of gut
Copy out
Salvage
Place on top

Underneath the old ones grow
Sticky fibrous ink and dusty seep
Dark gnarled
Ever-ancient
Remember their form
Metamorph

Above
The young ones let go
They sleep, aetherize
Below
The insects climb to eat the leaves
Birds’ nests, verdure, canopy spreads
Sudden torrent, split-sky rends

Ash they all.
The old one silent gnarled
Soot-smothered canopy
A cavern dim
The knowing one silent
Ever-ancient
There

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