Glass Oracles | by Brit Graham

The lantern’s wick is lit from
the flames of our bodies.
Demure and sweet-slick we
pluck our fangs from each
other’s teeth.

More readily accepted
among men, among
those arrogant believers.

They shove scriptures,
mortal tinctures down
our throats, in hope
we parrot some divine
message collected from
their small gods.

We roll our dimpled
hips in time, as one,
as many. The lantern’s
pulse, our hearts
stuttering, intermittent.

They comb through milk teeth
in search for any stray deception.

We prepare the vessels as
prescribed without bite or
feral smile.

Whatever words wrought
from our pretty mouths
laced with poison, would
taint their gilded scriptures.

Wrench back this crumbling
sacrifice they condone.

We talk and natter fragments,
worry half thoughts of suicide
and redemption.

Break them down and hone
eyeteeth fine as blades.

Our tales flit through smoke,
bleak, stretched taught, planed
thin. Our stories clamber
into sky.

The light of our long
dead acolytes flitter in
glass and silver

The flames gutter.
Soot smudges the corner of our
glass prison as bodies rock
and shift against the dark.
Our horde converges, palms
flat against their besmirched

We scribe glyphs into our
bodies, etched with fine
bone blades. A lone claw
tears along their
fragile expectations.

We scrape them flat
and even. As a painter carves
lines through thick acrylic paint.
We bear our truths down
to pitted bone white canvas.

Our circular notion of twitching
fortune pinned by the flick
of its tail.

We eat no apple. Instead we
slip, fortune, the green serpent
between our teeth. We shear
the sharp edges from our
forms to create a form more
susceptible to our prey. We
are all sloping lines and
wide doe eyes.

We wrought their twisted
fate in the clarity
of our panes, stained
our bodies brilliant hues.
Brass ring in hand,
we knock and wait
for the rasping bleat
to answer.




For now Brit Graham traverses the tundra of South Dakota.  She earned her M.F.A in Poetry from the grasp of Converse College. In 2011 she received the Lucy Gordon Hall award from Ohio Wesleyan University and in 2013 was a nominee for the AWP Emerging Writer Award. In June of 2015 her poem “Asterius” took third for Devilfish Review’s Kracken Awards and in April of 2016 she was a poet featured in Tupelo’s 30/30 Challenge. More of her work can be found in The Night Owl, RealSouth Magazine, South85, and the OWL.