all of it is
and it is a,
going down forever,
or what might as well be forever*
to friends like mine,
into earth, which is off-limits to us
as it was not to our fathers
who crawled their lives into holes like this
and worked in the gassy spark-lit dark
until their lungs seized up and they were pastured,
hacking for the worst part of a decade
on the front porch, forced to survey
the plumes of smoke from the refinery,
a system that we hacked into in the night a decade later
with baseball bats, golf clubs, smoke bombs, flares.
What did we find there?
What did we leave?
Did we ever leave?
* "might as well" is not good enough:
a thing is or is not forever,
not just the apparation of it, light receding