Daylight rots away like skin
and the black tulle of dusk
settles on a cellar door
where the password is homicide.
Take the stairs down in a throng of ghosts—
feel the exhilaration of weight restored
as the wood creaks under our feet.
There are bottles behind the bar,
pale with dust. Bats flutter on strings
in lieu of balloons.
A strangled blonde dances in
wearing a giant earthworm as a boa.
Its purple segments contract
along the crease of her elbow,
up her shoulder blade
to a throat of thumbprints and pearls.
One man, flies buzzing around
his fedora, asks the bartender
to pass him some of that coffin varnish.
We roar with afterlife.
This tiger has moonshine where its eyes used to be
and we have spirits for spirits.
Victims? We migrate from our graveyards
to where the maggots are in style.
Emilia Price has a B.A. in Creative Writing from Arizona State University. She was the recipient of the 2016 Norman Mailer College Poetry Award as well as the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Award for Poetry, and her work is forthcoming in Four Chambers. At present she lives in Tempe, Arizona
Artwork: Joseph Lorusso, Seductive Look