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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
tarma-de Nov 2022
Alone. In the center
of an intersection.

He leads travelers
to their corresponding

Yet he himself
can't seem
to move on.
at the expense of oneself.
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

Read here:
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 Jul 2022
I stick my fingers in my throat
and throw up a basket of swallowed suns;
under it, my tongue is parched and pinned in place
like a dried house moth on an entomologist’s hand
that nurses it back to life

and demands devotion in return,
a poem in return.

But I have purged the feeling being out of me
like a cold, cold man now averse to the ways of his younger lover
who is alive for all of it — the lust and the starving kisses
and the quiet deaths in the morning only to haunt at night.

I leave letters for my bitten nails without meaning a single word,
and go to lie with the superficiality, the hypocrisy nesting under my tongue.

I have started writing poems again — see where they take me this time
and find myself here, once more
where a fool unpacks her baggage and out I come rolling
like a dead body with a foaming mouth, a brown moth burning under the sun,
a leech that scurries under salt and needles,
slowly eroding like sanity.

She thinks, therefore, she is, they say,
but at what cost? She looks on and pens this poem
with a tiny smile on her lips.
written June 6, 2022, 10:53 am
fray narte Jul 2022
my father pours his beer on my mother’s wounds.

i bet she rues the moment
god fashioned her out of his hollow ribs
and him, out of the twigs breaking
under her careless, tiny feet when she was fourteen.

hollow and broken, the walls fall
all over me like ancient, perishing twin cities
and lot’s wife never looks back; the angels never look back —
i crack like a lightless dawn that wants to disappear
but my brother has started to look like me —
wearing an all too familiar silence, an all too familiar sadness
wrapped around his neck like a cursed talisman.
my sister’s wrists are exposed; i check
for bitterness, and cigarettes, and boys —
maybe i hid them better and held them tighter away
until i was pale and white as a ghost i longed to be,

hollow and broken, the walls fall; the door flings open.

i no longer have to hide my wrists,
but i crouch to a cluttered corner of my room.
every sudden movement, every unchanging voice,
and i bow my head low for my father to pour his beer,
like a baptism of the heathen who accepts the words of god.

my mother’s wounds shine like biblical relics
kept in my body — too fragile and small
but i was not made for the word of god
who calls himself by my father’s name.
— written may 22, 2022, 6:40 pm
fray narte Jul 2022
“i set my deadfall hands on fire —
swallow the ashes,” i wrote and laughed
as these words turned black with rot

in two months,

i am no longer inside the skin
burning away vividly at the feet of the sun god.
i am not a body at the crematorium
with matchstick-fingers and gasoline;
my bones are whole, pure, pearly, quiet white.

i have been holding my breath, waiting
for the smoke to clear without choking.
i no longer want to write about the flames and the embers and live-coal hearts;
i put my poems down, my cigarettes and pitchfork
and step into a gentler flare,
and stick my tongue out to lick the sunbeams —
they’re warm against my taste buds,
like honeyed milk and hibiscus stews.

i am four years old once more,
sleeping soundly on my mother’s lap.
Written last May 16, 2022, 9:10 pm
Havran Jun 2022
"Let every word
that these hands
will ever
be a love
from me
to you."
~D.A., Love letter
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