the husks are dry, infested with red lizards creeping circles, tiny dijnn. something flutters in the wastelands and thickets, a frisson of dark, batwinged and broken, carving glyphs into the remaining green. here is the place. recall the theology of the harvest, books filled with root diagrams and wicked lyrics. take this forked stick and burn it.
wracked with chills, broken skin, an insignia. this dates back to Babylon. discarnate beings, women with pearl-pricked oysters in their mouths. witch. you are making headaches out of leaves and language. you are chewing fat crouched behind a petalwhite bride, turning lace to entrails.
on finding a tourniquet
she grows her own hemp, feeds the soil with bonemeal and afterbirth. the bride finds a rope, demon-knotted with another woman’s hair. she serves us a dish of strawberries that beat like birds’ hearts, bleeding into lemon biscuits. the cream clots and sours. we cannot breathe.
the crumbling house
this isn’t rust in the bathtub. we find alligators in the plumbing, ghosts slouched in the drawers and cupboards. our eyes cloud when we enter, the pupils spreading black to the outermost corners. we are at ground zero, the malevolent hollow.
Susan Slaviero’s first full length collection of poetry, CYBORGIA, is available from Mayapple Press. She has two chapbooks: Apocrypha (Dancing Girl Press, 2009) and An Introduction to the Archetypes (Shadowbox Press, 2008). Her work has appeared in journals Rhino, Flyway, Oyez Review, Artifice Magazine, and others both online and in print. She designs and edits the woman-centered lit zine blossombones.