Part One The Sun’s nose poked above the early haze. He tiredly lifted his head, only to shield his eyes. Through his thick hair and forced smile, The day’s rays warmed his skin. Soon his tongue was quick and his hand was shaking. His voice touched ears and his skin touched skin, But his soul’s lonesome body stayed foreign to the world. City Hall filled with masses And weighed heav’ly on the rafters. The emergency assembly brought him huddled bodies. An invisible invader Was said to overrun the clinic, Filling hospitals and beds With men Too weak for full embraces. The Sun peeked through the skylights Reflecting the twinkle in his eyes. No one had seen the Sun before To ask a question face-to-face With the god that lived inside. He slumped silently into his chair Not wanting to be seen. Other after other raised up to volunteer. Confident. But he heard fear seep from their voices Growing taller every crack. Until he found himself, too, standing in the back. The bodies at the front asked for hands. Many shot up, but not one. His hand grew heavy resting at his side. The skylight sank onto his wrist. The pull of the Earth fluttered. Gravity’s direction nearly flipped. His arm floated skyward. One more hand reached toward the Light. Part Two A fat Swan awkwardly Marked the beginning of his day. But before he could leave he needed to train, To learn from those who had been there before See the sweat, aches, and pains, Sleepless nights, Sleepless mornings, Sleepless afternoons. Sleepless sleep, For the Sun always shone in this line of work. One tired-eyed morning a fat shadow broke the norm The Swan’s wings shaded him overhead. The bird’s departure enticed him West. He was ready to begin. One step outside he smelled and saw Wild things he’d never seen. Beasts that looked like us And beasts that broke the bust. Flora cropping up from cracks Miles wide, so it seemed. Colors that distorted cones, no sense in his eyes. The first person he met immersed him in the culture: A hedonistic topia engulfed in beasts and beer. Music barely drowned the moaning of the orgies, But he forged ahead to food Distracting enough that he forgot to drink the drink— Only then would he succumb to its inebriating effects. He laid molded to the floor of dirt below him Paralyzed, a mouse approached him Squeaking “get up you beast, SQUEAK, You are better than these foes”. Foes? He thought, fighting to his feet. He took a look around him to find pigs below his seat. Snouts and grotesque horns Where the beautiful women’s beautiful mouths and beautiful horns used to be “Go now,” squoke the mouse, “before it grips you in its vice” He sprinted down the tunnel, toward the Sun, Per mouse advice. On the other side of the tunnel Was a covered concrete path. Through the green to his right He saw a lake with boats And jumping fish. To his left he saw an ocean, Surrounded by mansions and a dock He counted the seemingly endless planks, Following a small wake toward the end. The water broke and he fell in. The whale gulped him down without a swallow. He barely felt the giant’s tongue. He passed the uvula, hit the throat, And, in the stomach, nearly drowned. He finally hit the bottom after minutes in the air The floor was moist and spongy It was dark and he was there. He felt along the bellied floor To find a hard tool made of stone. Or at least that’s what he thought He held it close...it smelled like bone. He dropped the skeleton And stumbled anyway he could. But felt the failure kicking him every time that he had stood. He slammed his head into the chimney. He was an imposter on this journey, He was done...this was it. With no escape he made a chair Of the bones of ‘ventures past. The darkness quickly swallowed his Hanging head. The moment’s cast. Part Three A luminating glow slowly grew, Casting shadows on the death around him. The glow became a woman Wielding a spear and, across her breast, A bow. His eyes defended him by Instinctively squinting. But soon they opened Curious to know What stood before him. A god—no, a goddess— Ate the black that snuck behind the corners And in the crevices of the belly. His voice failed him: Only his breath slipped out. Her gentle hand— The same one that gripped the spear And taut the bow— Grasped his And slowly stroked his fingers. Her glacial eyes told him what he wanted. His mind fired quickly into a search for escape With this goddess in tow. Every attempt to pull her along Was met with weight as heavy And as stubborn as a bull. She stood like an anchor Drowning in the darkness Of this hole. Why did she refuse to leave? Why did she refuse to run Away from this hell that she surprised him in? Her spear could cut through a thousand whales And her bow could shoot through, too. But as the questions dampened his thoughts He could now see clearly. She was not the Light he wanted, But only a glow. A glitter in this hole. Any real Light would make her vanish. It would overwhelm her glow. He sat to think on the moistened floor. With a thud, his ass hit hard. Something other than saliva Was sticking to his seat, A sharpened bone poked through his pocket. This was it: his spear to throw. He gripped it with the last of his might. Raised it wallward, piercing flesh, Blubber, and the rest, Its point exposing the final layer of the prison: The Light from outside the darkened hole. Part Four The hose filling the whale’s belly was quickly kinked. Instead of water, Light poured in, Bleaching all corners of the godforsaken dungeon. His face peaked through the new-formed hole. He could make out a horizon To surmise then The Sun could christen him with a kiss of warmth. All the failure that filled the stomach Washed away upon the Light. Bones from backs and bellies Scraped his shins as they passed by, Floating out to sea Away from the pit they long called home. He birthed from the beast, Slashing upward with emergence. His shoulders sprang up with relief From the weight of the woman That held him in that hole. Now nothing was invisible. He could see all he could see. Part Five The crunching sand beneath his feet Signaled his arrival to the beach Without a name. The warm sands cooked beneath the Sun But cooled his skin. With his ass in the muck And his feet soaked in the sea, He wondered if he could ever leave this spot. His hips held him back And his feet froze when he tugged— They were heavier than before. His head fell back to the beach Only the halo ringing the Sun filled his gaze. The refracting Light caused his retraction From the heavenly seat he fell into. His hands reached down, Gripping ankles heavier than lead, And pulled with all his might The stubborn nubs from the sea As the Sun instructed him to do. His friend, the Sun, began to run Toward the horizon From which it came. His back felt cold as he chased it, But soon enough it set. Stars burst through the black blanket of the sky, But paled in comparison to the day. As his feet trudged forward through the dark His thumbs grew numb And he could not find the path. But, He trusted his feet And trusted the Sun to return, He could imagine the warmth Of its touch On his skin. The hope of sunrise guided him westward Toward home. His fingers were no longer numb For he shoved them in his pockets. Walking tall, the brightening horizon led his way. He could not see behind him, but he knew, The Sun rose again. The road signs he came across Hinted at his home. Slowly, townspeople heard his creeping. Cheers and chants began to break. At the tabernacle town hall He taught the others of the Light And the hope it brought, too. Soon, the invisible enemy was eradicated, Cast away to the shadows That few were dumb enough to explore. He sat atop his roof, Soaking in his friend’s embrace. The returning birds flew across his view And soon a darkened cloud did, too, Blocking out the Sun. A raindrop plopped against his nose And trickled toward his eye.