It was violetblack like blackjack so
he popped the beetle into his mouth,
it melted in his mouth to an acrid fluid
which burnt his tongue and he spat.
He mauled at the inside of his lips with
his tongue but no saliva would come.
And he pumped his throat for sputum,
but a cold weld had set across his tonsils.
He stepped and looked and stepped,
and into the garden he fell, onto the path.
Caught upon his hands and his elbows and
his nose was grazed against the ground,
in front of his eyes on the pavestone there were snails,
everywhere he looked there were snails
and they stretched their eyes into the distance,
He saw that they didn’t get any smaller as they receded into the distance,
and he lay prone in an amphitheatre
of ever increasing snails.
They all sat at corners.
The patch at the centre of his gaze was a corner
And the little patch of grease where his nose had touched was a corner
He could now see the millions of ever decreasing snails
that were extruding from the pores of the tip of his nose
and dropping into that patch of grease.
And he stayed there, elbows bent,
tips of toes stretched, neck straining, laughing.