Content Warning: themes of blood, death, self-harm
Simon Alderwick – Two Poems
Hers is a city of staircases, wells,
where desert streets shun underground rivers.
Rain layers like skin, reflecting moons.
We cannot help, but follow her down
to a den of thieves dug out of the mountain.
We drink from her mouth a voiceless vice,
the blood of history swims in sweltering
melted rocks, inside her dark eyes.
Our heartbeats echo, pulsate, dance
to the primal lust of beaten drums.
The insane cry of hope and hunger.
We congeal at her lips, as one.
Our open necks reveal her kiss.
The second sun turns us to stone.
I’m opening wounds on my arms to keep you warm. Your memory.
I mean I’m trying not to think about it but it’s hard.
Your body. Sinew. Flesh. Even your breath is like dust from an open tomb.
Every time I exhume your body all I can remember is the sound of twigs breaking
under my feet. The green of ferns. The dappled light and the moss covered trees.
What a place to choose to live forever. The dew over everything. A bodybag between
the eternal light and the changing seasons. How I died for a second in your grip.
So tender what you told me: keep this a secret. So we bury it.
Simon Alderwick lives between Wales and the Philippines. His poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Magma, Alchemy Spoon, Ink Sweat & Tears, Anthropocene, Poetry Salzburg, Frogmore Papers, Dreich, London Grip, Corrupted, Berlin Lit, and elsewhere.
Photograph: What Remains by Jim Ross
Jim Ross jumped into creative pursuits in 2015 after rewarding career in public health research. With graduate degree from Howard University, in seven years he's published nonfiction, fiction, poetry, photography, hybrid, and plays in 175 journals on five continents. Photo publications include Barnstorm, Bombay Gin, Burningword, Camas, Feral, Memoryhouse, Saw Palm, Stoneboat, Stonecoast, and Whitefish, with Glassworks and Phoebe forthcoming. Jim and family split time between city and mountains.