The frame of the cave leads to the frame of man
With a drip-
calcite fingers nearly
join in tacking embrace—tap and
twist to turn ceiling to floor—in
two Ohio caverns.
One rusts and smuts from human
thumbprints and crumbles
under weight of urban sprawl in
A factory with blown-away—no,
window panes of a lost economic kingdom.
Another is shaved from earth, carving
an opening to Nature’s
carnivorous mouth that echoes, “Come on in.
No need to worry.”
There, in that other town, the Heart-State
fae rubberneck corners and
flutter from pearly tooth to milky canine,
hiding their frail secrets
from the fee-payers. Behind backs, you can hear
their hand-cupped snickering as they
glee from crack to crevice.
Back in Youngstown, a vagrant and brambling
steel—a welding-fused wendigo—share
beans over a blazing fire on the fourth floor, peering
through those battle-torn panes, seeing abandon
like crashed airplanes hilling down
The two look up, split a glance, catching
the cacophonous drumming of
The same sound you hear
between the tour guide’s droning
speech—as camera-flash steals
your peripheral—and the cackling of cavern-sprites
in that other Ohio town.
Dom Fonce is an undergraduate English major at Youngstown State University. His work has appeared in Ohio’s Best Emerging Poets: An Anthology, The Tishman Review, 3Elements Review, Obra/Artifact, Great Lakes Review, and elsewhere.