I stumbled across this wonderful nodeshell less than a day after stumbling across an abandoned textile mill in the woods a few miles from my house so old that what must have once been "NO TRESPASSING" signs on the fences surrounding it had faded completely to white. My friend Layne and I of course felt obligated to investigate, and found the most silent place I have ever been. We spent more than an hour wandering around, and it wasn't until we were back outside that we realized that neither of us had spoken during our time inside. It felt like a holy place, completely forgotten by the world, and it wouldn't have felt right to disturb that kind of perfect, dead peace. Anyway, these lines occured to me after seeing this nodeshell:


We walked these hollowed, hallowed halls,
Where the fingerbone rebar skeletons
Once pushed their slow tips from scaling cement skins
And ancient standing pools of rust bled,
A slick and sickening stigmata on the floor.

We walked these rheumy, gloomy rooms,
This broken factory for its secret ghosts.
These moldy, dim-lit chambers attested
To some heyday and some later failure.
We solemnly wondered what went wrong.

We walked these tremendous, empty dens,
Where even the spiders had starved long ago in the dark
Before some heretic rockthrower let in light and
Blinded the blasted windowed eyes in, and now
Their dessicated corpses hang from gossamer catacomb threads.

We walked these labyrinthine passages,
With their silent miles of reaching cable, pipe, and wire,
Searching for a clue, reverent, taciturn, hushed.
We tried to find with ancient eyes a sign of life,
Found nothing but the smell of tombdust and dead bleach collapse.

We walked these muted, tubercular cellars,
For a glimpse of growth, some gentle suggestion of motion,
But the age of the death in that place
Guarded its own past with a distant immutability.
We were too much living to uncover any hidden truth,
Too vital in a place death long ago forgot to care about,
And our breathing could not disturb the sleep of the ancient saints
Which no longer wander those holy halls or menace intruders,
But forever stand stiff, impassive, massive and unknown.

041704

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