I felt the darkness envelop me,
reflexively held my breath.
I could not see, but I did hear
a silence complete as death.

How to explain the emptiness,
the vastness of the void I felt?,
I got down low to safely crawl,
in the dank putrid filth I knelt.

My heartbeat steady and strong,
a lump was in my throat.
I forced myself to move ahead
though I felt I had little hope.

How to navigate without reference?,
it seemed I would remain lost.
If I could just find my way back …
I’d give anything, pay any cost.

There was no need for mazes here
the inky dark held no clues.
Meandering for what seemed years
I gave in to despair, the blues.

Deciding not to try anymore,
I sat on my rear and wallowed.
Then I heard a fearsome noise,
close enough to make me swallow.

My imagination took over then
and was soon out of control.
Whatever was in this space with me
it was coming for my soul.

I never felt it much use to me,
the concept of soul was too deep.
Though I lacked the understanding
it was something I wanted to keep.

I got back up on hands and knees
and crawled as fast as I was able.
Still without any direction to head,
my mind grew even more unstable.

Sweat was pouring off me,
my appearance surely haggard.
This was not a situation where
I could afford to be a laggard.

In a moment of audacity
or possibly some insanity.
I surged to my feet and ran away
not a thought given to my vanity.

Lungs on fire, a stitch in my side,
and exhausted to the core.
I fell on my face, rolled on my back;
I could not take one step more.

It wasn’t long before the creature
ambled close enough for me to see.
I was astounded to find staring down
a perfect replica of me.

It spoke with my very same voice,
made the same gesticulations.
Suspiciously, I wondered again,
about my imagination’s manipulations.

I trembled when it reached for me,
but it gently set me on my feet.
It smiled at me with understanding
and said; “now we are complete.”

Without another word,
it stepped to me and we merged.
I was speechless as I felt
my self-doubt being fully purged.

The darkness lifted enough
for me to see the bright stars shine.
I exhaled, bowed my head,
gave thanks to the Divine.

M. Zane McClellan

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