by

Belicia Rhea

You float through our house to the sky
black with your skeleton storms.
I’m slicing up my palms and wrists,
how much blood brings you back?

This toad is dead. Boiling in a garden of toadstools
same as the ones you’d leave in your pockets with
poison fungus growing on your tongue.

All you are is bad, you said.
You’re a bad, bad girl. 
Time to go, bad girl. Time for it to end.
Put yourself to bed. Go find an invisible grave.
Come back to meet me in the cemetery
see what’s left to split open and unearth. 

I do. Find your name on a rock.
My name in the dirt. Our blood underground
buried out back in a box with that
docile wolf, summer cat, my blistered fingers,
and the glass shard that cut open my foot
running south under a monsoon, trying to find you.

I still look for you in the scar on my lip.
In my small artist hands
that I fold to recite a prayer for those gathering,
looking at a hole in the ground.

The crowd is on fire. I am raining inside.
Where is your face? I cannot see in this dark.
I hardly remember. All the laughs
trapped in our laugh trunk,
that eye above my bed watching me sleep.

Now you’re in the mirror billowing with smoke
as I light your last cigar, wearing that turquoise
bolo from your acting days, star of the western set.

I rise, this dry rot a heavy cloak, smells like soot.
I’m holding three mice and some oil paints along
with a bulb of garlic to plant at the edge of a pond
past the woods, under the tree with thorns, next to that
folded up letter from your buddy in the 82nd Airborne.

I lay an ear to the soil and listen
for your laugh, your yell, the silence.

Belicia Rhea was born under a waning crescent moon in the Sonoran Desert. She writes horror, weird fiction, and poetry. You can find her at beliciarhea.com and read more of her work published in or forthcoming from Nightmare Magazine, Dark Dispatch, and Ghost Orchid Press, among other places.

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