Inside, it’s crowded, noisy with talk-
Magic walls, transparent from out here,
Curve space, distort vision from within-
Warmth envelopes everyone inside
Lulls them to sleep at brightest noon
Eases questions into slurred dreams
Quickly forgotten in the swamps
Of faceshandswordsnoiserules,
Shaping of the box invisible
Even as its walls grow tighter
Stronger from eating the breath,
The confusion of all those crushed inside.

There are doors-lots of them on all sides
But most underfoot or overhead
Not in the normal, expected spaces-
They lead only to the outer air,
No paths wind around the feet of those
Who slip out through any door
To twist and pull them back inside.
No door opens inward to the squirming space
No knob offers from the outside.
Once you’re out, you don’t get back in-
Whether you like the cool space or not,
Whether you’re alone in your freedom or not.

The syntax of space, invisible inside
Paints its own patterns out here
But the paths mostly lead away
Into farther hills and brighter skies
Where breathing is easier without the fear
Of tight spaces that leaks quickly
Away from the minds and hands of those
Who walk or dance or fly away– free!
But some turn and watch the shadows
Still reeling, writhing inside the box
Twisted into grotesque shapes and shadows
Those who turn and watch are left to describe
Bridges between what was and what comes next.

too soon old, too late smart

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