POEM: Everything You Need Is Already Inside You

There are no tools of man
for cleaning out
the gutters of the mind.

It comes after,
long after,
the smothered labor
of foundation,
and its undoing. 
Because the past has settled and held
you forever, you see—
so how are you to know
you stand on snake coils
and poisoned rods?
How are you to know there
are better things
than these faded crosses.

But after that
after the arduous and surreal revelation,
the excavation
of childhood
which fell and was forgotten
beneath a front porch
June fray of correction,
you realize
roots have grown
in your heart
(they can wriggle through
stone, you know.
I know because
my heart was once stone).
And it
is only when
you pull those up
like a vine,
leaving chasms in your body
where water rushes in,
when your soul has been gutted
by exhaustion and
your heart
has been purified
and partitioned
to a prototype,
when you think
it is finally finished,
then
then!
is when you must dig
your knees into the dirt
and scrape away the last bits of muck
with your goddamn hands.
Because
there are no tools of man
for cleaning out
the gutters of the mind.

© s.e. carson