OXIDANT | ENGINE : Issue 2
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.
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.
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.