By Julia Aloi

There is an old Tolstoy fable

I like to think about.

A man, running away from a beast,

hurls himself into a well,

only to find a dragon at the bottom.


He hangs onto an olive branch,

the midpoint of two reapers.

A pack of mice scurry onto the branch

and gnaw away at its root.


The man soon notices

a drop of honey

on one of the leaves and licks it up,

a momentary treat

before the eternal beast swallows him.


I have not found my drop of honey,

but I am trying my best

to remain distracted.