Apocalyptic Coffin Bird

by Kayla Bashe

Salt lips and statement collarbones, rain-starved steadfast lugging mechanical treasures
Inside her sun-protection layers she wears her magic on a leather cord
a rainbow raindrop under glass
peeling calluses like snakeskin, limbs misarranged, wondering: how much longer could I sweat out sick heat
blood-dust webs between her fingers
sometimes it snows down grey ash;
when she touches ghost confessionals in dune-dreams, they marvel at this last scrap of the human race
she says: when I can’t see my footprints I keep walking.
wash the gasoline vibrations from my oracle coins.
if anyone survives here let them kiss my lips until they swell up like bruises. Pace out land to plant my crops.
she licks the inner skin of cactus flesh and spins a jump game around beetle-shell cars
does she feel how every skeleton hand stretches out to touch her boots, saying
the oceans may be extinct but your ears are like shells; the memories of trees thrive in your eyes. We hear the measure of your heart. We hear the singing of your blood.

 Kayla Bashe’s novella-length works are available from Less Than Three Press and Torquere Press, and her poems and short stories have appeared in Vitality Magazine, Liminality Magazine, and The Future Fire.


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