The almost miraculous self destruction of Ann


She pressed earthen handfuls

of tobacco brown leaves to her lips

forced crackling flakes

thick dry veins

of carbon detritus


fingers pushing


peeling strained lips from teeth

tried to press them back

at first spicy,

clung to her tongue, her teeth

filled her throat

the scent of decay


like burnt flesh

exploded in her

fingers scratched,

nails carved short

apocalypse red rivers

tracing bloody hieroglyphs

across pale skin

carrion claws

that once held crayons,

once brushed hair back from her forehead

she gagged

the strength of reflex versus will

fractured fingers

renew their vigor

find purchase

pull back,

splitting the corners

her grin a mockery

skin careening


rips with a sound like cardboard

a gasp struggles up,

cannot escape the wet vegetal plug

of her throat

the hands

damnable, honest

grasp firmly

do not pause


her jaw separates more easily than she could have imagined

the sound slick and hot

her kneecap breaks when she stumbles

blinded from revelation


face down,

jawbone in hand

fingers pawing the earth

she breaks a nail on roots

presses her voice deep in muddy concavity


blood patters down

drips from ruined strips of flesh

watering this garden

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