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Content Warning: blood, death

Nicholas Bonifas – Boneache VII.: Work
Sugar de Santo - Athena.jpg
Nicholas Bonifas – Boneache VII.: Work

Nicholas Bonifas – Boneache VII.

              what will you tell them

when the time comes? you were made

for mildew, born during a flood. maybe that’s why

              you hate to swim. you never learned

              to float and you don’t think you want to


              find out what keeps your breath

from hitching because you’re too busy letting drool

drip, dragging lips aside, digging for the shard of bone stuck

              in your gums, the piece of broken jaw, the hull that holds

              you hostage. gasp and grab for something


              solid because wrinkled fingers love wet

cloth like dry t-shirts love bare skin. skim

off the top froth of a pool of butter and look

              at your reflection in liquid gold before

              you pour it on the popcorn you made to keep


              your hands busy as you think through

a thunderstorm. turn a piece over

in your hands until the salt is under

              your fingernails. you clipped them just

              last week, but they are long again


              already pinching skin, lean into the desire to bite

them back, herd your body in the small ways, and draw blood

because therein lies the last thing

              you would think to say. put the piece in your mouth,

              this is a divine intervention pulling

              on your knuckles until they pop

out of their sockets, create cavities. you don’t know

what happened to the first tooth you lost,

kernels absorbing a red melt from the wishing well

              hole in your mouth. perhaps you swallowed it and it rooted

              in your stomach among husks and hulls and grew


              into the knot pulling your insides inward. reach

down your throat and feel your fingertips brush

against leaves. knee high by the fourth of July; out


              of my mouth before I die please. my one request is

a rainy wake with an empty coffin. pray for her,

she was born to be shucked. pray for him,

              he salts his snacks with her dead skin.

Nicholas Bonifas – Boneache VII.: Work

Nicholas Bonifas is a wayward poet from Indiana. He is currently studying creative writing at Bennington College and draws inspiration from the cryptids and curiosities on campus. He enjoys writing peculiar fiction and hodgepodge poetry. 

Nicholas Bonifas – Boneache VII.: Work

Artwork: Athena by Sugar de Santo

Sugar de Santo (he/him) is a german, gay/queer disabled, retried visual artist and poet. He lives in Berlin, Germany. His work is published online and on paper at „The Storms“, „Beaver-Magazine“, „Spirtus Mundi, Issue 2: Identites“ and „brack-magazine, Issue 1: Tech Support“. Find him at social media: sugar_de

Nicholas Bonifas – Boneache VII.: Work
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