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fray narte Dec 2022
My love is the shape of canine teeth and claw marks
I leave around your neck,
the way I leave poems decaying in an unforgiving landfill —
the gods have turned away in disgust
as I sit and lick, like a rabid dog,
the maggots chipping away from the inside —
the entrails of my grief, all pulled out without mercy,
without a deathbed confession,
without a god to listen.
I long for something else to unfold;
something sacred and beautiful
when you turn my body inside out, but lo.
This is as deep and far as we go.
Tell me, I beseech, does my filth look better inside out,
uncovered, on display,
penetrating your very skin?
Take what you need, love, they are all yours —
my sins, my wounds, my impiety
in exchange for your darkened heart — I’ll spit it out
and swallow it back
down to my underbelly where no one can ever take it —
not you, not the gods, not their fallen, forsaken angels.

Forgive me — forgive me, forgive me, forgive me.
Forgive my unforgiving hands, forgive my unforgiving poems
if our sick, twisted, defilement is all they ever know.
written December 14, 2022, 9:31 a.m.
fray narte Dec 2022
Such a classic mortal blunder to lay
my spine as it erodes, graceless, inelegant
on Galatea’s cold, ivory arms;
such delicate carvings can never be human, look human,
feel human under my lonesome bones.

I long to see you flinch and break
into fine, liquid, rain of dust blinding me,
covering the walls of this room
in a blameless shade of white: a new asylum ward
for my kind of insanity,
you say.
It envelopes like light around my awe
and my forlorn limbs,
tangled with Galatea’s unmoving ones.
I look for comfort within brittle carcasses
scraped of everything they could ever give.

The quiet persists eerily.
But here, Pygmalion’s gifts remain untainted:
the apex of auger shells, the beak of a songbird
the blunted ceriths, the rusty chisels
all impaling my spinal bones.
Yet the sculptor’s kisses, long erased,
the careful carvings, long defaced,
long reduced into a Grecian ruin.
I bury my body on your arms yet they find no rest
against the ghostly pleas of mammalian tusks.

How many for your fingers?
How many for your hair?

Tell me, Galatea, were you carved to bear the weight of
all the sea salt I swallowed as I drowned?
Soften under my meandering thoughts; I long
to see you flinch and break — like all the dead elephants —
any reminder that you yield pliantly to the voice
of the love goddess, that you were once turned human.
Break now, your solid arms, under my own collapse
over the sea foam caught on fire.

I am no longer bending and weeping to pick myself up.
Here it all goes down and ends:
my bones,
and yours,
Nothing —
nothing less glorious will last after us.

— Fray Narte
written October 18, 2022, 1:35 pm
fray narte Nov 2022
Find me tearing violets, my love,
in a manic daze; I am running out of softness and daylight,
like winter’s cruel hours

“but I will crown your hair with these torn violet tiaras
and your soft throat, twine with woven garlands”

and I will dig into my tongue for the remaining metaphors
beneath the bourbon, until odes drench my lips,
I will stitch my wounds shut and ready for your apricot kisses —
I ache to be kissed away,
to waste away before your sun-speckled eyes
like a tiny fae in your flower basket, I ache to settle
in your dainty hands,
in lithe fingers lost in my wind-blown hair.

My November, my gentlest love,
how I breathe you in like my grandmother’s letters —
how you consume me
in curious ways
and for the first time, I am not afraid of the softness
buried and warm inside my bone marrows.

Tell me, darling, will you stay?
Will we stay
this time
for more than a kiss?
Will we linger longer
than silhouettes in a dream?
— written September 2021 | first published in Love, Girls 1st zine issue, SAGISAG | part of the poetry suite, Saudade

fray narte Oct 2022
Her eyes are sinkholes in a quiet, sleeping state
and I was a girl, lost and misplaced at twenty-one,
looking for love in infinitesimal spaces:

on her palm creases and chipped, ruby nails,
and in the blown-out ends of her lotus tattoo
I find myself tracing a secret,
at the spiked tips of her hair tamed by fairy lights
and on the slits of her skin — a rabbit hole of wonders,
I always fall like Alice in sworn careful tiptoes
and crash headfirst; a broken wishbone, a tainted wish
some habits you just can't quit.
like —
October and her obsidian eyes, and the sunless ways we kissed —
being lost and misplaced made sense for a while in the detached comfort
of her cold bed, colder hands,
warmth has become an oppression.

But this dalliance has always been a disaster waiting to happen
and I am a paramour, a memory, a face in the crowd
swallowed in a seismic fall —

and losing October has always been a disaster waiting to happen —
this bed, always a site of a losing battle
and I find myself in a soiled, torn dress,
lying helpless on the other side of her war.

Tonight, I light myself a candle;
maybe one day, I'll finally learn to run away from a girl made of disasters

and not towards her.
— written September 2021 | first published in Love, Girls 1st zine issue, SAGISAG | part of the poetry suite, Saudade

fray narte Sep 2022
You still eat away at my chest
like a mole finding its way out of my body.

God, it’s been ten years now since you last wrote me a letter
sealed with a pressed, dead daisy
and a ghostly kiss mark,
yet they’re still dying under my thumb.

These days slip by and I can no longer write you poems,
my dearest, sweet September —
but still, I hope that you have in your chest
all my papercuts from unbridled letters,
all my quiet midnights,
and all of my unwritten words;
they are yours for missing.

Must you leave a girl then, darling,
whose only fault was being one?
— written September 6, 2021 | part of the poetry suite 'Saudade' | First published in Love, Girls’ 1st zine issue, SAGISAG

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fray narte Sep 2022
My throat is heavy with August’s sorrows
I sit by the shore and wait for the weakest waves
to drown my little feet — I  stagger over them like a clumsy giant.
But it’s seaborne sadness wraps, a constant, unrelenting embrace
like a mother’s grief,
a gentle creature’s death,
a rabid dog feasting on a poor, meatless bone.
I am alive — so cruelly alive for it all
as it falls

down my throat, down my chest like a child’s pained whisper.
My body is heavy with August’s weight as I retire to my filthy bed
and hold myself.

Cold are the nights in their quiet,
lackadaisical, taunting hours.

Come now, September. Come, kindly, if you please;
sweep me away into a million, invisible dust particles

under clueless, flickering lights.
fray narte Aug 2022
I name all of my lovers after months now
and all roads lead to August and
the Roman cities we’ve burned —
how she walked on crumbling streets as I held the matches —
this poem is a page for burning at its tip:
a lone match, scalding — a firelit kiss
but the flames have always been a hypnotic sight
like a woman perched in your sunlit bed —
her hair, red as flames licking my neck,
red as love that bleeds on itself;
it leaves a stain on pretty things.

Now her skin has silk sheets burning away
like banners in a Roman cathedral,
her half-breath kisses, dying — now embers,
tainting my dress black where her lips had staked a claim.
Now her touch is wildfire crawling on my skin
and I am a wounded doe — waiting. waiting.

The only world I know burns to the ground
before my very eyes
and we are no phoenixes, darling; all we do is burn.
Written September 6, 2021
First published in Love, Girls' 1st zine issue, SAGISAG
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