201 Readings

Raymond Fault, Los Angeles

Last night, the night-blooming thorn apple opened,
                                                                             its white nightgowns strewn
along the edge of the road,
                                   and hundreds of moths skipped from silk to silk.
We were tripping on mushrooms and I could smell my mother’s perfume,
Trigger-warnings around every corner,
                                                                        the danger of our ordinary lives.
We stood on a precipice, overlooking the city, its dazzling lights
beneath the thick air of a storm
                                 and its dark arts coming in over the threshold of the sea.

Thunder like gunplay in the canyon; lightning flashes
the chaparral and chemise, the flare in its bones ready to spark
at a moment’s notice. If I had one of those scrolls,
                                                                   I’d put it in my mouth.
In the morning the news said a human head had been found,
right along the road we had walked.
Twelve hours ago, estimated time of death,
the features of the face, they said, still fresh.

Posted 10/19/15
published by Natural Bridge, 2011 from Tongue Screw, Spark Wheel Press
Books by Heather Derr-Smith
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