Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
 
serpentinium Jun 7
when death casts its long shadow / when you kneel to it in a grave / head bowed, fingertips aching for something that lies beyond the dirt / is this too a kind of prayer?

a malediction spoken between the fragile stems of chrysanthemums / wing-clipped moths sedentary against the empty coffin / a rotting in progress / a funeral prepared, a body unburied, a grief that could swallow the world.

call it armageddon / call it a girl in agony / call it the act of dying slowly.

make it an act of rebellion / make the heavens fall / in a sheet of rain as sharp as silver spears / so that even the divine know your name / and the earth shakes at your passing.

the result: a redistribution of matter gone wrong / more of you left in the space where your molecules once were / a ghost that can be touched / a ghost that doesn’t know it has died / a girl turned tragedy turned monster turned memory.
serpentinium Apr 14
When Choice met me at the door,
I cowered from her,
turned away to my own shadow,
its fetal shape mimicking a home
I have long outgrown.

It is poison,
yet I allowed my roots to usurp
the terra cotta, an insidious hand
in my own downfall,
my own asphyxiation wrought
by avalanches of dirt.

When Choice met me at the door,
I did not go with her as a lamb;
I left kicking and screaming,
crying for all that I did not do—could
not do in the span of a year.

I was a madwoman,
a stranger making deals with demons
at crossroads,
& never taking either path;
perhaps that is what real madness is—
the desire to never be given a choice,
a life divorced from autonomy.
serpentinium Apr 8
The bee, a mind within
a labyrinth of minds,
can tell the difference
between one and zero
between less and more
between something and nothing
at all—
isn’t that tragic?

To be unable to
tell judgment from justice,
good from evil,
days from weeks,
but feel the emptiness
buzzing, a Morse code
heavy in
your wings: beware,
beware,
be aware that you
will die.

Do they mourn their dead?
The loss of a synapse in
their hive mind, a portly
black-and-yellow exit sign,
leaving the honey yellow
stage of this mortal coil
with a final ****** of a sword,
a piece of yourself
lost in the soft flesh of
your killer,
a suicide wound.

Perhaps we have more in
common with bees than
we would like;
living
in service to another,
mistaking revenge as
justice, giving away the
best parts of ourselves
until nothing
remains, just the puncture
marks of our existence
writ in tombstones.
read an interesting scientific article about what bees know
serpentinium Apr 1
If only I could drink down the rain
& become
a tadpole, blind to the river I was
born in.
A creature in metamorphosis,
small & fragile,
unaware of anything but the
water,
the embrace of a gentle current
softly
guiding me home.
trying shorter pieces for national poetry month. in this way i'm forced to choose my words carefully for the sake of brevity... it's an interesting experiment at the very least
serpentinium Apr 1
I. A gene for combustion
passed down through summers
spent fishing mud-slick tributaries,
cultivating a taste for wildness
wiggling on metal hooks,
sun-bleached shells
cracking at the weight of
tar-speckled teeth;
an animal made supine,
made to mold like clay,
a carcass of love

II. thrown into a kiln,
now discarded, abandoned
hungry maggots taken to flesh,
burrowing in the soft, hidden places
where viscera meets homesickness
where memory becomes gun smoke
and home—the place where
I sweep up the broken pieces
of pottery—becomes a grave.


III. Here lies a familiar body:
bleached bone as kindling,
a house pregnant with smoke,
then fire;
this is where all
witch hunts begin—
woman made child
made martyr
made monster
made firewood,
a temporary shelter,
not a fire to be prayed to.

IV. Burning.
Morning star plummeting,
oxygen-rich, dying poor
on a back porch, basket of
vipers spilling out like kerosene
and into the woods—
a brushfire
voice of God burning
through the screen door saying
“He wept.”

V. I named the fallen star
Lazarus;
dead but not dead,
reborn in the face of my
father  
who stares
into the 500-mile long
reflection in the rearview mirror
of his ash-colored Chevy
to a place God-touched
and wild.

VII. He tucks the lion parts
of himself in the furnace,
shedding glory for loss:
to lose the rattle of the caged
animal in his chest,
the fires that hunger for more
than the pines,
to sleep without dreams of
funeral pyres covered in
snakes.

VIII. Today,
I am a ghost caught in daylight
here and not here
mind on fire
facing Lazarus in the hallway
hospital gown as yellow as
sulfur,
charcoal staining his lips
while I burst into flame,
burning screams,
a mirror’s reflection
of the worst
parts of himself.
serpentinium Feb 3
storytelling was god’s first gift
to humanity,
a way to embalm our histories,
to dress them up
just as a mortician might paint
the dead
to give the illusion of life—
the mirage of
immortality on our own terms.

and so we become this patchwork of stories,
tales sewn into
the very fabric of human existence like
some great cosmic
game of telephone stretching across
13,000 generations
of **** sapiens who lived and loved
under the same
canopy of distant, blazing stars.

but like the stars, we too die; we
collapse upon
ourselves, upon the weight of
our genetic code
spooled out and stretched like thread
until there is
nothing left to give—no more DNA
to copy, just an
empty tomb, the stone rolled away.

if only death were a simple thing,
like how our brains
can go on autopilot on our commute to work.
i’d love for us to
be able to hand money to the bus driver
and say, smiling,
“all that is mine i carry with me,”
and board the
bus heading to Somewhere empty-handed.

in this fear of a Somewhere, we’ve
turned god’s
gift into a weapon, sharpened
our walking
sticks into spears, melted our
shields into
double-edged swords, named
one side faith
and the other side belief.  

we cut down those whose beliefs
are different
from ours without exception, as if billions
of years ago
we weren’t all carbon and hydrogen atoms
bonded
together, spinning slowly in the dark expanse of
a frigid universe,
the very foundation of the celestial blueprint.

as if millions of years ago we weren’t
a family
huddled by a fire while the fifth Ice Age
raged on
outside, making glaciers out of  mountains.
we sat together
and swapped stories, painting our lives on
cave walls
using sticks and crushed beetle shells.

in this century, we collect new converts like
captured pawns
on a chessboard, as if belief is a battlefield and
the price of
doubt is a one-way bus pass to a Somewhere
that tastes
like brimstone, milk, and honey licked clean
from a lion’s
ribcage: a hint of ash mixed with sweetness.

because all evil carries a hint of god,
doesn’t it?
he made figs and floods, broom trees
and plagues,
trumpets and leprosy, blessings and
curses. at night we
fear that no amount of weeping or
new covenants
will make the scales fall from our eyes.

so humans, in our finite wisdom
can only
say, “all that is mine i carry with me,”
and pray
to Yeshua, the deliverer, to Adonai, the
Lord, and
rest on the seventh day of our rebirth
so we can
wake at dawn and see that it was good.

some days we can be like Jonah in the
belly of a fish,
wise Solomon on his golden throne lined
with idols, Job
who cursed the day of his birth with every
breath, Naomi
whose bitterness begot the still-born name Mara,
so long as we
remember to carry that which belongs only to us:

love.
serpentinium Jan 20
& that is the riddle of life,
isn’t it?
to be living water, a sloshing
riptide that
dashes itself upon the rocks,
here &
then gone—like all good things.
like us.

go headfirst into the waves, diving,
diving down
into the murky dark where fear once
lived, now
a barren sea cavern, a mausoleum
made to
collapse. but know it is no place to rest,
my dear.

swim further, let the salt carry
us somewhere
that our tired bodies can call
a home.
where the waves sing a sweet
whale song
& we sleep, we sleep, we sleep.
Next page