Cathexis Northwest Press
My Lover, the Songbird Who Was Swallowed by a Snake
By: Mikal Wix
Her pupils receded into distant stars,
pinpoints, divine and deep in their retreat—
and her skin seethed with sweet ice floes
under the influence of powders and secrets.
Her snorts rose and smeared small mirrors
with sickening piety,
her throat— an ocean trench full of ash vents,
her tongue— an ancient tube worm forked,
singing about all Hebrews and Romans who fall from grace.
Her gallows tree grew
from wan eggshells crushed and dreary—
no mere wood and rope would do;
the budding arch befit a monument
for her to rock beneath.
I knew she found a craving to fondle
and dissect unlike the other white particles
in clouds and fog, hail and snow,
but with a habitual burning twitch
when I heard her ritual sniff forsake her.
I felt her eyes surge and fade.
Incoherent fights and icy verdicts
flung under bedroom doors,
but the split tongues of the drug gang
supported her campaign,
even after the eviction came, and she ran away
to claim a random relation to fantasy, music, and fame.
Later, I stood apart at the show,
when she turned her friends away
from backstage before the curtain rose, her hands roared
like thin white horns over her head in a cocaine rage,
and she sneered
at my redoubled efforts to form a veneer.
“It was yours,” she hissed, “the baby I ditched.”
She turned away again to feed the cyst,
and cast off her flower crown
to the long and noisy lines of renown.
Mikal Wix was born in Miami, Florida, of green-thumbed, hydrophilic parents. Growing up in a diverse environment gave him the insight of the outcast. He attended several colleges, receiving a BA and an MA in literature and creative writing. When not collecting books, editing manuscripts, or chasing his chihuahuas around, he can be found in the Great Smoky Mountains fixing up an old ski chalet.