“floating away; on a vessel long derelict” by Kate Shannon

if you are listening, I am 
here, wracked with a Martian longing 
dreaming of stowaway spiders who would weave sickly webs 
over semi-important fixtures:

reviled queen who presides over her silken court,
an army of dead serfs strung up at her feet
no heir but the slowing gasps of a helpless god,
her low web drooped under that weight.
shellacked: the arcane intonations she sways to
until a fever that does not break claims her 
and she forgets everything,
even her little legs. 

I find myself in the dullness of the blinking lights,
wondering when they will flicker and burn out.
I find myself in a shallowness of conserved breath,
wondering when I will flicker and burn out—

or else, exhale into another pale vessel:
feet clinging to further shores
which might look like sea to the sea.
longyearning: the thing split between our ancient water.
a crooner that does not croon croaks:
all you’re going to want to do is get back there
and these strange waters
make no good casket. 

the elusion of end rasps along, 
and things break
and things break; 
cast, lost, cramped into that long dusk.

somewhere, a cat tugs free the strings of a blanket
coaxes it between her curious paws,
weaves it through her sweet home.
sweetmilk: the exasperated echo of human words.
those humans who enjoy deep breaths,
whose fingers move so delicately. 
the same lips, the same kiss, the same licking of old carbon. 
the same haunting of lived lives.

if you are listening, I am 
lost in the unctuousness of an uneasy vanishing, a familiar hum:
drifting from this adrift vessel, moving slowly or not at all,
eyes closed dangerously:
how it must look like craft.

Kate Shannon is a student, editor, and poet who currently lives in the strange mountains of Upstate NY, where she lives with her partner and too many dark secrets. She writes speculative-ish poetry and fiction and hopes to not be eaten by one of her hideous creations. Her publication history includes Abandon Magazine, The Metaworker, The Mithila Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, among others.

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

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