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Poetry

Unfathom’d Caves

Re Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”

Illustration by Ella Corder

Unfathom’d Caves

If one were to grab Picasso by the neck,

turn him over and spill out his blue nudes

and women with yellow hair,

And if one were to then sweep up with a broom

all the breasts and the lips and the trumpeted ears,

and make them into a shining golden pile,

And if one were to hide the pile in the depths

of a mahogany basement full of aging whiskey,

jars of brown molasses and smoldering Persian rugs,

And then if one wrapped oneself shamelessly in a dirty rug

with the golden pile of bounty,

and from one’s pocket retrieved

A gem of purest ray serene, which

The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear,

and stared there, in the depths,

With one’s eye to the green gem

looking through at the golden treasured body

in the womb of the cellar of a thousand years’ loneliness,

Then, perhaps, one could imagine the color of your eyes.