Burn by Kyle Hemmings

He tries to make the wicker woman flat
or stretches her at both ends.
But her feet and gangly body
keep curling up. He’s left
with piety and solemn circles
within the circumference of his sleep.
On a plane of forgetfulness,
forged from his stinking fingers of
dubious intent, he leaves the wicker
woman in the oven, door closed,
a truism to herself.
When she ignites the unlocked laboratories
in his eyes with home remedy and
the exact science of a pinprick,
he chases her out, finds her homeless
days later, speaking to strangers
in a neglected language, pocketing
the tails of small dead animals,
becoming lost in underground
cars two levels below every
average family.

On the street, she greets him
with the breath of eviscerated
nights, kisses him with nicked
air dried lips. “Am I not
the mother, the prototype of all life
you once gave away to the obscene mouths
of this world? And now I am
the bits of what cannot be digested.”

“It was the other way around, mother.
I have not inherited your jars of
forgetfulness, your glossy dementia.
You once left me in a smoldering house.”

The two go home once again,
and together,
they burn at either end.

kyle hemmings

Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey. He has been published in Elimae, Smokelong Quarterly, This Zine Will Change Your Life, Blaze Vox, Matchbook, and elsewhere. His latest collection of poetry/prose is Future Wars from Another New Calligraphy. He loves 50s Sci-Fi movies, manga comics, and pre-punk garage bands of the 60s.




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