After you wrote Beelzebub,
again I saw you bird-scattered
at high altitudes
in all of my futures.
The voices told you to live
above the tree line, to find
a town with one post office
for your favors. In summer,
the river eroded, but miners
still knocked loose
bits of earth for our scavenging.
We panned flecks of gold
& placed them in vials to sell
to the market. We wanted
to give you a sky burial,
but this isn’t Tibet
and the DEA already monitored
your property for illegal growth.
Instead, we cremated your bodies,
halted the pyre before your bones
ashed. We knelt to your scarves,
chanting to smoke & pulled
your skull for my altar. I woke
to centipedes at the wheel
wells of my car. They followed me
through the garage, their dozens
of legs stirring & dropping
with each chime of the elevator.
The door opened and you stepped in.
Nic Sattavara is a queer writer from Michigan. They earned their MFA from the University of Alabama. Their work has appeared in temenos, Cimarron Review, and Red Ogre Review.
Artwork: Caitlin Hackett, The King Vulture’s Queen