OXIDANT | ENGINE : Issue 2

Lana Bella

Deeply, Darkly

 

You drew the bow deeply,

darkly hungered, just as chaos

of molecules reverberating

through silk with embroidery

shears. Night gin breathed

down the slime-throated walls,

hours leeched to tongue like

a curse of horned devils; pale

pentagram of psychosis pills

infringed the brain’s receptors,

ached you agilely at the edge

of cigarillos smoke’s fine sheen.

So you imagined suffocation

was like disappearing through

water until you sank, keeping

your hands from stretching

through shadows, to all things

radiating into dark inside dark.

Tenebrae

 

Color of broke lapis, desire without 

intent, love without logic. Corbelling 

out to river, constrained and taut, 

he bore on with an air of reflection,

tipping the flask of rye from snake-

skin hand. The light, a chagrin of

sunrise, really, hexed through

his cottonmouthed throat a small

task of octaves coaxed in scalene

country air, radially gloaming.

And to witness how he became a post-

discovery, pulped against the hope

of blooms, sharp burn of cheroot fired

backward as water threaded veins

with smoke, he stepped ashore

a vague outline like a diaspora of

hurt, to know the world fed stigmata

at harvest, hungry mouths chewed

thrice with mudflats and mosquitoes.

Underwater Decimals

 

The feel of luminous shape

licked your world of numbers,

red-ribboned to the under-

water decimals, cuspate and

cold as obsidian. The sum 

of products creped by pores

on questing tongue, oblivious

to what pulses beneath teeth

and claws, each one spoons

smooth a sternum and fascia. 

Until you scoop out the guts,

smudged and hieroglyphic 

with coronal planes of despair,

torques fall axially like waves

in the wet lines of your fingers. 

A three-time Pushcart Prize & Bettering American Poetry nominee, Lana Bella is an author of three chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016), Adagio (Finishing Line Press, forthcoming), and Dear Suki: Letters (Platypus 2412 Mini Chapbook Series, 2016) has had poetry and fiction featured with over 380 journals, including 2River, Acentos Review, Comstock Review, Expound, Grey Sparrow Journal, Ilanot Review, Notre Dame Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, San Pedro River Review, Waccamaw, and Word/For Word, among others.