Burn This

Medusa hides behind my eyes,
fears her own reflection,
wants to wend her
way inward.

I refuse
passage to
leatherblack asps who
attempt escape by virtue
of spilling from my lips.

I swallow them
back rather than
birth them into
material existence.

Twinned sirens writhe
inside my ribs,
mean to seduce,
chant tunes
intended to consume me
within the fluidity of grief.

I claw my way up
through this wet-broke and
broken aloneness.

In direct spite of
naysaying and detraction,
my pulse still runs amok,
the maddening thudsmash
stays unstuck in defiance
of those who desire
no less than my
anesthetized quietude.

The mermaid who swims
in the center of me
two words
uttered shamanic in
don’t drown.

The sorcerer’s apprentice
under my skin
wanders in the grit
of city-midnight,
the air, eerily still,
the moment,
stiff and thick
with inexhaustible possibility.

The moon is a milky pitcher
pouring pearlescence
my crown.

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Empty threats,
simple resistance,
they are not enough
to stop me.

I was built
made to withstand
much greater than
petty distraction.

I am elemental-celestial,
fashioned by the
hands of my ancestors
from their very own
prayers and bones.

First, palo santo smoke,
then, the commingled aromas
of hyssop and rose,
next, the rhythm of drums,

and after that, comes
the wet mystery
we’ve whispered of
for millennia.
This is viscera:
blood and gutsy.

I was forged
in the fiery furnace.
It takes way more
than enflamed war


Photo: “Red Hot Charcoal” by UrbanPerspectIV