Madison Zehmer

your mouth / as other things

like pollensmell / or pouring lukewarm pepsi down the drain / or kissing chapped lips / stir crazy 

           sleepheaving / absinthe or arsenic / in pulpits of raised palms / did you know /

the puritans were mystics in their own ways / their fervent invocations in a world aflame / still on your tastebuds / and on mine too / 

           were we descended from witches / incinerated in sanctuary atriums / edification of combustion / eating ergot to prepare for the pardoning /

              would it change anything if at the end you knew you were destined to burn /

    maybe you would like it / becoming pure heat / licking sunbeams / just to feel your face molt / 

              ceaseless 

solstice of arson and abyss / and your silvery breath left over from the kindling / cinders burning redgold / like confessions that move the muscles of gods /

like revelations / summoning a rapture / scouring celadon waves / into froth /

                          seafoam on your lips /


Madison Zehmer is a poet and wannabe historian from North Carolina, with current or
forthcoming work in Gone Lawn, Déraciné, Drunk Monkeys, LandLocked, and more. She is editor in chief of Mineral Lit Mag, and her first chapbook, “Unhaunting,” will be released by Kelsay Books in 2021.

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