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ISSUE:  Summer 2018

—with thanks to Alysia Nicole Harris

Two tree-limb-switched heretics born of Baptist parents, we reveled in a Ouija. But the only black spirits we conjured were our own shadows which flickered against the wall like a private screening. Both of us church boys sweltered in June pews, our bodies a new gospel. Our thighs thick as Bibles, four swollen gourds intertwined. Our love took the form of a chance operation & that summer, we had more him than hem on us. We conjured bridges of our reverent tongues near sodden rivers. Slim-hipped hyacinths were affixed against waterlogged bottomlands. Famished, we murdered the crow, sautéed & ate it on the porch. Night loosened its corset to reveal a carcass of restless cicadas. We laid on our backs in the field, our bellies exposed & no—it was not the blackened pasture’s grassy synths that jazzed us then—we were simply drenched in crickets; the chirruping brigade made musics of us. Arias of us. The moss swathed our copper bodies like plantations coiled in jade & you, dear ceramicist, would soothe the sutured wounds of my body with your huge hands. I can still hear the hissing votive of your throat whispering my name like penance. 

Basking in the balm of your jeans
I sing, This autumn a swan gnaws
at the Eucharist in my palms.


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