Licorice and the Underworld

Ummm yes,
of course
I noticed
the blackbirds
buzzing their eulogies
round the loft
in which I lay,
and though assured
this was a sign,
I couldn’t quite figure out
what the hell it all meant,
staring out the window
thinking of
licorice and the underworld.

And somewhere in
the nearby distance,
the queen of the sycamores and snails
moves back to the city
because the wi-fi was spotty
in the deep of the woods.

I did still see
standing behind me
in the mirror,
it rising off the earth
with the steam after the rain,
and magic in the ethereal periphery
of my brain waves,
but honey,
make no mistake,
just as often
I sipped black coffee
next to death
(who took 4 sugars in his
and always demanded a fresh pot be made)
at little cafes
across this wild constellation of continents,
in the earliest of mourning morning hours,
and I let him get me drunk off pitchers of cheap beer
during drag shows
at nearby bars in Atlanta,
wore frumpy clothes
when we went out together
so he’d always be
the prettiest thing in the room,
and I choked on
tough pieces of meat
in restaurants,
because oh my
did that boy death love a tease.

And fuck yes
I took note
that exorcisms
are coming back in fashion,
but we were
the sovereign witches
of our time,
and we found
the heaven we were calling out for,
right here,
stomping the earth with our bare feet,
stirring up the fires from deep in the ground,
dancing in their godddamn flames,
sizzle rhythms,
teeth glistening
to the treetops,
to the moonlight,
screeching til the sun came up
from around
our vision’s edge of the horizon.

Even so,
I lost you to
phone lines
and billboard signs
that littered the
golden sky around us
as we struggled
to find any space
that could still be called
And by the end of the day,
no matter the smiles or the tears,
I found a home
in banging me head
on the bathroom tile floor
as I turned to shower on
so hot it gave me blisters,
banging my head,
banging my head,
bleeding a little
from the ears
just to be aware
that I was still alive,

even if just barely breathing.