I Put The Coffin Out To Sea | by Lisa Marie Basile

i

Our shoreline speaks of night; we can’t hear it but we can see its mouth move.
                                             I am at the ready for god, but let’s be honest.
I gloss over the jetty, watch a seaflower hold its breath between the rock;
             I hold my breath to move between the veil.
                                           Miracles, we sing.
Death only happens to the living;            even the quietest corners
              pale away. We grope at rooms of mirrors, through tufts of flora,
                               for the rose of Jericho. Let me tumble to resurrection &
              stop me from sleeping all day. I have barely seen the sun. I won’t wake up
                            until I have forgotten the scent of absence. There is an obscene goneness
            in my palms.
Somewhere on land we dirge through the malaise. I am nothing
             more than a girl who cries on balconies
at this point      at this point I am nothing more than the balcony.
               I gaze at the petals; they gaze at my wound.
I’m so wound-bound.      I’m so lost to the vanity
                of staying. Stay.

 

 

 

ii

 

We ritualize death by living, we are always building our quiet.
                               That I might vanish into the sea,
                that you might, that blue blackens into white.
                That off might slip the glorious gown of Time.
We are hallowed, a silent process moving from earth to salt to body
                and back to earth.             We call it divination
as though the mystery is separate from the body.    We are the mystery.
              We borrowed the body. I wear a crown, I draw father
into the sand, and wait for the blue to come and collect him.
               Now my small wish is gone; now it becomes mechanism, now it becomes
an infant of great, bleak sorrow. A sadness so tedious we build heavens for it.
                I am a heaven but I only know this in glimpses. I call these glimpses
                               prophecy. I call grief my nightwound; it evades my holiness,
                               that I break for death and hurl myself at its throat,
that I think I am separate from the great golden womb. Such pomp.
                               I continue speaking to the quiet; it eyes me from the horizon.
               I will raise it, I will leave here before it leaves, and then it will leave.
                               I won’t know it again.
               More girls gather at the shore to speak to it. They are wounded by
the same afflictions; obsession for the dead. There is an ancestral hum
        of suffering we cannot escape,
                      cannot speak to,
cannot pull from the maggots of time.
It’s name is the silence; there is no language for it. We are not the shore,
              we are the tide.

 

 

 

iii

 

There is no glorious secret. Death is an overripe fruit.
Smudge the room if you want, but our hurt haunts the house.
We keep the dead ill. Dress for them,
wear our wound in daylight, rot of love and ego.
What is this pale stone I hold in my chest? Is this my life
or something sinister? I am tired of thinking of the dead. I have left
myself behind. I say, stay here with me, though I’m already gone.
I am hung up on the angel that could never know my name.
The eroticism of why, why, why; I come for the answer.
Sanguine and absent; the necro dazzles in stories of heaven.
Me I have no heaven; me I wander. Please come home.
Please come home. Please visit me in the garden. Please come home.
It is never full, my spirit engine. I fill of rabid rattles and
tubes. I have become the blood between the cracks.
I go to the pew for you, and for you, and you,
and am strung up in the rafters. What holy, what wing.
               Such a waste of a girl, such rumination.
I am obsessive. I contain nothing but the replay.
I am blood and blood and replay. I am please don’t go.
I am toss the windows open, but I am windows closed.
Nothing comes in, no one gets out. Arrange the flowers.
Arrange the guests. Stand up and watch them stoop.
Lick the water from the font and swoon of god.
                Lie to me in love. Let me think
there is something else.

 

 

 

iv.

Oh gladioli, there is nothing else

                              you and I,
                                                          and the box

If I keep you in a box on my table

If I keep you in a box

If I keep you

 

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Lisa Marie Basile is an editor, writer and poet living in NYC. She is the founding editor-in-chief of Luna Luna Magazine and the author of APOCRYPHAL (Noctuary Press, 2014), as well as a few chapbooks. Her book NYMPHOLEPSY (co-authored with poet Alyssa Morhardt-Goldstein), was a finalist in the 2017 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards and will be published in 2018. She is working on her first novel, to be released by Clash Books/Clash Media. Her poetry and other work can be or will be seen in PANK, Spork, The Atlas Review, and more.

 

 

 

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