Exquisite Corpse New

CORPSE OF THE QUARTER

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Edge of Hope

JANUARY 2021

Roses coil about bleached-white bone and rise to reach the sun.
Who is the woman with laughing eyes and  long dark hair?
Even blind eyes could see the radiance emitting from the unknown chapter ahead
where Hope’s face flickers, quiet, fleeting, in Horror’s shadow
as it was expected, but never prophesied.
When the graveyards are full, demons get a 3-day pass from hell
and they have the heads of rotting bulls and the jaws of rotting dogs—
they are angels, and they carry the sons of men in their arms.

The dawn can still gift the freshest of light.
The aging coloratura screams into the vortex…
a darkness so cold, holding cursed secrets frozen in time
where, always the light seeks to bleach darkness’s fabric
and then, warmth rises above the horizon as chills creep back into the dark.

Through blood and torn flesh, the rough light breaks
severing the umbilical bond which tethers an anemic heart to despair—
naked teeth itching for flesh, to be reborn is to be hungry.
Closer, closer it glides through blades, slipping in a whisper of come home.
Our old sidewalk evaporates leaving a lake blue as chemicals
and the Earth rose around me revealing, a new world both terrifying and beautiful.

I connected the points of a shamrock with a triangle and then painted it with many colors
…dare to forget until tears become smiles and songs.
Broadened tastes, reading subtitles on Netflix now second nature…
fairy doors sprout on trees.

—Naching T. Kassa, Marge Simon, Tina Swain, Lee Murray, Denise Dumars, Elsa M. Carruthers, Alina Măciucă, Harris Coverley, Bruce Boston, Brandon Norman, Colleen Anderson, Briant S Laslo,  Anton Cancre, Michelle Brule, John Reinhart, Aigner Wilson, Anne-Adele Wight, Chelsea Hunter, Michael McAfee, Russell Hemmell, KB Nelson and Lorraine Schein

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