A Hat Menagerie

A Hat Menagerie

Preston Smith

Kaleidoscopic fabric climbs my walls
like ivy, poisonous only in the false hope
it invokes. My hats are compact like a coral
reef, their varying colors culminating
in Humanity. I ask only for my tower.

I sweep the room, ever aware of outside
stares, ever unaware of how everything ended
up dreadfully. I see hats haphazardly strewn,
and I realize: my tower is my Underworld.
I only wished to discover Elysium.

My history unfolds two distinct chapters,
one before the Accident and the other after,
the connective tissue narrating Their deaths.
“How did you not foretell this tragedy?”
they ask, as if I bore the sight of the Fates.

Instead, obsidian velvet matches my gaze
as I examine each hat each day, never hesitating
to craft more, fabric flying in a clashing circus
of pastel and matte, hoping one will reunite
me with my family.

Today, I forge my own Olympus.

Preston Smith

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