Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Apr 2019
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
Written by
serpentinium  23/F/Florida
(23/F/Florida)   
115
   Fawn and Darrell Landstrom
Please log in to view and add comments on poems