Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Thirty-six
Winter 2014
 
Under the Factory Ash
Kelly Boyker

The first morning,
we rose from the fields
and found our bodies arching toward decay
the world stained with a dark ink.

It was strange, as if last night’s dough
had risen in our mouths
festering on our tongues
smothering until we realized
that there was no more breath.

As newly blackened beasts
we willed ourselves forward
by our teeth
Blinking, receding, blinking
the dawn, the confounding light.

There were many of us
but few of you
we walked forward
brighter than the reddest angels.

The virtue of your stainless births
was not lost on us, for we were
as blood on the snow.
Was it snow?
Or was it white ash
belched from smokestacks?

Our eyes peered in at you
fingers smeared the butcher shop casing
wanted you to die in ways
we could not explain
our last mouthfuls becoming
a crazed light that remained
independent of our bodies.

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