He Scaffolds the City
The man is all exoskeleton and internal elevators.
He is snakes-and-ladders skull and continental shelf. What was he thinking,
being born into a cityscape of rental shops and tool sheds,
into this violent canvas of flea and leech slow-sucking brain sap
as subtle as a mocktail? What. The man is writing hate mail to himself,
thinking of ways he can make his flesh salt. The man wants sky
to suck the marrow from his shin bones, he wants to dehydrate
back to stardust. He wants to know thirst like a tall god
knows the mesosphere. He wants to see constellations that fix
beyond the weather balloon’s jellyfish peel. He wants the sun.
The man is a hot mess. Somebody has thrown a lifesaver
into the canvas, but the man is more lungs than arms.
He is cartoon skeleton, flailing amputee, faced towards
a doppelgänger who's white as a sheet. I’m not going to lie.
Everything is drowning in everything else.
Everything is indebted to everything else.
Elizabeth is a writer from New Zealand. She is published in Poetry NZ, Narrative Magazine, Literary Orphans, PRISM International, Crannog, Cordite, Island Magazine, and The Moth, amongst others. She is included in Best Small Fictions 2016. Her first poetry collection, Wolf, was published with Mākaro Press in 2017. She likes to write about broken things and things with teeth.
The Ekphrastic Review
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