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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

a prayer for the plaster cloud cover; Nero; Murals

By: Lora Robinson

a prayer for the plaster cloud cover

cast a circle, swing hard your chain

smoke swelling like drums, percussive

snuff out my candles- repent.

burnt-rice-kneeler, flog your choruses

to the vents, to the cold chapels-

a red ribbon in my hair.

blessed be the scrimshaw of my breastbone,

the shivers in my spine

sharks feeding on my marrow.

holy be the turpentine rain thinning the walls

the scythe of his body

warm blade in my bed.


trace the porcelain vase of my neck

cup my cheek,

I’m slipping

off this shelf

(my pet,

my strangest secret)

you cannot break what is already broken

let the pieces rattle

tiny bells at the city gate

Rome is burning, play your fiddle-

we will roll and

laugh and

fuck in the ashes


see your mother in the suffering

you know,

you motherfucker

you’ll never go home again

you know your history

machines of suffering, Picasso

bare knuckle portraits you paint in the bedroom-

crab, hermit, shell shocked

walk your trauma down the road

like a hipster’s designer dog

tongue bitten, metallic tannins

spit drunk and flailing,

alive with the novelty of your own violence

she poured the bourbon down the sink

melting joints, your own blood

shattering hot glass

the loneliness you laid on her pillow,

the silky girls who didn’t know your name

spinal shrapnel scarred over

splintered, seven years a wisp of smoke between fingers

all the beautiful fires she set in the kitchen

all the ashes of things held closer than you.


Lora Robinson is a Baltimore-based poet, technical writer and cat-mom to Shark and Thea. She enjoys hiking, baking and meditating. Her poetry has been previously published in the Scarab and DREICH Magazine, and her first poetry collection will be released in spring/summer 2021 through akinoga press.


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