In the Labyrinth

Suddenly, it occurs to you
that you are lost,
instinctively searching for the way
to the center, which is surely
where the resolution must lie;
except, this is not a child’s game,
a maze on paper
to be studied at leisure from
an aerial vantage point,
with moves then safely taken
by a graphite proxy, pressing
on to the reward of a
clear outcome or
a clean exit.

You fear
you have again forgotten
that you are in the labyrinth:
you wake
to the familiar feeling of distress,
that tremulous state of unsettledness,
as seeming walls press in on you
& all that remains is inertia
& the blind faith that
forward movement
toward the puzzle’s
uncertain end
will reveal the mystery
that lies at its core.

If only like Theseus
you had Ariadne’s thread
to retrace your steps
back to the beginning,
you could turn now &
escape the maze

But there is no one event, no
single locus of origin
that can be identified as
the source; you come to realize
that you’ve always been
in the labyrinth,
the mythical menace
of the Minotaur within
an inseparable part of
the paradox of your existence,
trapped as you are
in a dualistic dance,
ever removed from
each other’s view,
the maze teasing you along
other passageways
holding the promise of
freedom that instead
arrive at the dead ends of illusion,
forcing you to backtrack
& choose yet another corridor,
until you finally arrive,
somehow surprised
at the fate that was inevitable,
delivered unto hopeful oblivion
that lies in the heart
of the Minotaur’s lair.

[Allan Rozinski has had poetry accepted or published in Horror Writers Association Poetry Showcase IV, Eye to the Telescope, Devolution Z: The Horror Magazine, The Literary Hatchet, and Bete Noire magazine. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.]