Black Sabbath Plays While We Are Fornicating In The Grass

Let’s say it’s still close to mid-century last century.
Let’s say it’s the 1960s/70s.
Let’s say that the grass is dry & full of tiny beetles
but we’re content with being back-side-down
in it, watching the sky, feeling the slight
movement of the earth, our finger whorls
like patterns in the clouds, & the clouds
are reflected in the water, & the water is as warm
as the back of your neck. Let us begin our hymn.

The time for war & pigs has passed us.
We aren’t exactly human, nor are we always
or exactly arrangements
forming images in intergalactic mediums.
Some of us trade shells as we grow.
Some of us stunt nerves, our exactitude
for touching: fireworks.

Every 20,000 years, the constellations shift
themselves. It’s a natural wonder:
how the universe breaks down, dislocates
& relocates its edges.

When we met at the cusp of the park,
I was surprised you hadn’t heard of me before.
Serpens, best seen in July. Best seen in complete
darkness, split into two distinct areas
of sky. How tiny lights form recognition.
Two stars, congruent, made to mirror.

Let’s say you & I are those two stars
& at some point we must connect across
a vastness only examined from a distance
greater than the total of our unified selves.
A blade, you’ve said before, is but a splinter
of the sum. Here we go, becoming something
to be seen, our alliance like two trains striking
in the dark. A detonation. An absolute horror.

Beneath us, roots push into the soil.
Our backs are stained green. The friction.
The awful knowing that we are collecting
pigments both unnatural & correct.

— Erin J. Mullikin


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