Invocation of the Eremozoic

Hail, Lady Death–

Let me smell your sulfur.

The stench of thawing soil, steaming

Like vast carrion on a crisp day

When the air feels thinner than itself;

And breath catches maybe

From the beauty or the throat freezing shut

Or both.


Hail, Lady Filth–

Let me taste your shit.

That which should become humus,

From brown to black,

As it has done since the beginning.

Your fermentation, loamy and sweet

Is the way of things.

But we have become afraid.


Hail, Lady Violence–

Let me hear you break.

The thunder in the earth is you

And not you.

We beat your body flat, your bones catching

Like a rug out for dusting

Like a man

Out of line.


Hail, Lady Grief–

Let me feel your tears.

You seep from slow and sudden wounds

Like sebaceous glands of black tallow

Or glacial milk or tailing water

Instead we battle the hurricane

Nursing like fleas

The teats are on your back.


Hail, Lady Extinction–

Let me see your face.

Jaundiced, pocked, filed teeth

Condemned to see with perfect sobriety

The fratricide like a crawling sigh

And a bad hangover.

“Have mercy on the disease,” we suggest;

Warden’s keys jangling at our belts.


Hail, Mother Darkness–

Let us know your love.

You have suffered every salted injury,

Every humiliation, and yet

We are all still welcome in your embrace.

The question isn’t If, but When

And whether, even then,

We will know what needs righting. 

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