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,
off this shelf
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
fuck in the ashes
see your mother in the suffering
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.