Philip Elliott is Irish, 23 years old and editor-in-chief of Into the Void Magazine. His writing can be found in various journals in nine countries, such as Otoliths, Foliate Oak, Flash Fiction Magazine and Revista Literariedad. His first book, a collection of fictional letters, is forthcoming this year. Stalk him at philipelliottfiction.com.
When naked feet found the freezing floor of the bottom
I thought of moths and how they seek the light.
Is it fear of the dark that drives them, I wonder,
or something more primal, like love.
For fear is a learned thing, absorbed by tiny brains
when watchful, shining eyes see too much.
Perhaps to a moth the lure of light is no different than
the dark that drags us screaming from the light,
nails clawing at everything but failing to snag
on the cold ground that disappears
faster than the light can reach us.
Maybe somewhere, a dazzling
lamp spits white blinding light;
powerless to resist, a million
moths circle endlessly,
Ode to a Weary Soul
Kavanagh, I know how you felt
With all your outsider aloofness,
How the blood sang in your veins
When she spun you down Grafton.
I know how your spirit shuddered
When you gazed into those forever eyes
Knowing your time was limited there.
I know how it stung, Patrick, when
They laughed at your enigmatic
Ways, know how desperately you
Yearned to escape that infinite exile,
That prisoner’s cage, how when
You did it offered no release, how the
Loneliness stretched on and on and on.
I know how you felt, Dreamer, when you
Bathed in the light that makes the masses
Scream, know how suddenly it fades,
Know the longing and the ache for
That which can never be revealed.
Kavanagh, I know how you
Felt when, finally, you said
Goodbye, let it all go,
When you died.
There is something about darkness
& how it waits for you with an open
mouth like a saltwater crocodile
expending as little energy as possible.
Sleek & jagged, perfectly adapted
to snatching the unsuspecting, the
exhausted, drowning them, devouring them,
what need has a crocodile to hurry?
Darkness lurks beneath the light,
silent but hungry hungry hungry;
it blinks once before snuffing you out.
any one of them could do it to you again
each face half a second from a snarl
too many times you ventured out
too many times you were bitten
these woods are not safe
all you can do is shiver