labyrinth i walk into and out of myself
                  —Debbie Strange

It’s spooky, being awake and wanting
                  to stay in a coma. An uncaffeinated sun
lays concrete harder than a tomb top
                  this Easter morning. There’s a distant wail
that could almost pass as a hymn, tinted
in depressive ardor—the congregation
                  needs coffee, too—like the devil moaning,
“Oh, Jesus, He’s alive,” and demons
                  answering, “Lord, Lord, Lord.” Closer
to my perch, birds go tympanic; rhythms
and counter-thrashings duel in my head—
                  and the sky hardens into stone. Last week
was better—the labyrinth at Pasadena
                  All Saints Church, its tarp-sized map
to conduct the penitent toward curiosity,
the curious through a house of mirrors
                  whose door they forgot was open, as if none
had turned the doorknob, found themselves
                  welcomed, served Blue Mountain Coffee,
Russian tea cakes, until a sudden, deafening
crash, and walls all around dash, shimmer
                  to splinter. At All Saints, I reached the rose
imprinted at the labyrinth’s center. Turned
                  to double-back and it was more a swim
through ink. The trick was not to drown in it,
remember there’s no such thing as sanctuary,
                  just survival. Today’s sky rattles, a tennis ball
ricocheted rapid fire off closed windows.
                  Let it not break a pane to let what’s left of me
out. Let quiet envelop me and close my eyes.
Jonathan Yungkans is a Los Angeles-based writer and photographer with an MFA from California State University, Long Beach. His work has appeared in Oyster River Pages, Quiddity, West Texas Literary Review and other publications. His poetry chapbook, Colors the Thorns Draw, was released by Desert Willow Press in August 2001

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