Mars

by A. Marie

Hot slap slips loose the animal,
night jasmine burns in Asia, the Isle of Man
sinks into the Irish Sea, Solomon Islands
grow legs and head north
to eat Okinawa, chop every cherry bloom
into kindling
to feed the storm.

The sweat runs like waterfalls,
Niagara of salt and flesh
slashing forth as wild mares of Chincoteague,
thrashing knuckles hardened
as bone and stone.

Cold, as the Arctic Circle, as Enceladus
shrewdly eyeing Saturn’s golden rings,
cryptic as the darkness
quelled by the dawn
but loathing.

Redden cheeks, calculative
mystique, pulled by forces that worship
bloody bodied Mars and Antares of
scorpion heart,
it’s an ache

to scrape flint across your face,
sear a flame inside your nostril,
let it take root
and fester,
an ember in waiting, a fanged beast, desiring

to torch your house,
have you wretch up your dog,
scoop your pride, lick it clean
like ice cream,
see you weeping on the curb, the rain
weighing on you
as a plastic bag
smothering.

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