Sleeping Dogs

stretched out like a sorrowful slithering snake
no warm sun, no cool moon to light its way
dank and dismal, ceiling scaly with stunted stars
purgatory’s hallway, colored tear-stained gray

barred doors line its bowed-in, petrous walls
fashioned from lies and anger, jealousy and greed
keys without locks, and locks without keys
hiding haunted hearts that eternally bleed

cold bricks weep night sweats, whiskey, and coke
discordant screams slide underneath sallow doors
unanswered prayers seep through crumbling cracks
curdle into a slippery stigmata upon the frigid floor

don’t break the painted-over seal, don’t peer inside
don’t look upon fractured faces hiding hurts and slights
don’t ask questions you don’t want answers to
don’t offer false salvation...let sleeping dogs lie

©2023 jai

Image by Alexa from Pixabay