Still Death
The pair of us shivering, tent skin
rippled. Parts patchworked into stitched vein map,
                    and brutal heart.

I part her legs for the pulp. Unsolve the tempest.
Landlocked bodies silent as a shipwreck
in a gale. She looks away. What can she avoid telling

in the give? We make love to unmake life,
briefly. Her mouth deep in my thigh. Lambskin
wrapper. Dust in our backpacks, rock

shoes. Everything takes two fingers. Everything takes
and takes and—
          She flexes till we both fold. Not docile,
          just weak. Not lantern, only
          asylum. Part baby bird, blue eggshell

          candy coated. She runs her fingers
          through my hair to get the yolk out.

Still, Life
We slept through the second coming.

                    On the sand, wind raising
                              our white shirts

like loaves of bread. Peeled grape

          of the eye, hot under its lid

dusted half-shut.
          Sweet desert

                    air. Lush scrawl under

the blank eaves. Everything is buried
          at the nape of our necks,

                    and at the pour,

a woman is combing the burrs
          from her dog’s fur          with a stiff brush,

a small child after her          collecting handfuls
                                                       of the thick black hair.

               Such dreams as these. The body
                                                                 a drain.

          The head heavy
                    under new antlers.

And later, someone’s savior

                                             crying alone

in the catacombs.

Self Portrait with Fruit Pith
Birthed by nostalgia,
we are tangerine pink. Sharp
seeds budding & bubbling
a blade. How human is this?
Goose egg rattle. Fallow & park.

A river of green grass
in a dirt meadow. Trees covered
with plastic to protect them from frost.
But this is California
& almost summer, // so seek heat
& hospice here. Tender thighs,
a running stitch up the pant legs.
Still running // by the train station.
Now pare the skin. Shuck, then
remove the core. Think prelude.
My mother thinner every time
I return. Me, a boy peeling white peaches
on his bedspread. Blue foxglove,
snapdragons. The knife pushed through
the pinwheel. Water bleeding veins
onto the metal // & the shafts
of wet feathers now stitched
into my baseball cap. This city // a body
of ruptures which have never

known shiver // Like how yesterday,
a car skid a globe of Styrofoam
two blocks & the shavings
were mistaken for snow.

Mixed Media. 2010.
Your lover tells you
there is nothing sexy about bones.
You know this, but can’t help it.
Suture memory // A cut
that won’t bleed. Skin stitched
around impulse. The pills turn
your spit blue. One to see the sunrise.
One to bask in sunset. One to die,
one to be reborn. One to die again.
Our mouths hang watering. Addicted.
& we are only trying to leave
our father’s faces out of it // Our hands
& our skin. Somehow we never talk
about how what’s underneath the skin

is more skin. How the truth about anything

is more of something else // Dear gods

on pearl banisters. Dear bodies that only exist
in corners. Dear truth you can’t headlight
& meet straight on. Since childhood
I’ve confused having money

with being in love
& I have been trying real hard
to leave my itches // alone.

Fisayo Adeyeye is the author of Cradles (Nomadic Press 2017), the current Poetry Editor of Fourteen Hills, a Co-Curator of the VelRo Graduate Reading Series, and he has works published in The Collapsar, The Birds We Piled Loosely, and The Wildness.

:: more from this issue ::

Three Poems

Francine Cunningham

Three Poems

Mahan Ellison

Bones and playing pretend

Amogha Sridhar

City Folk

Nonnie Augustine

Four Poems

Fisayo Adeyeye

Two Poems

Sunayana Bhargava

Desk Job

Makai Andrews

Two Poems

Wilderness Sarchild