I can still feel the smoky wild dagga of your eyes
the char of your hair,
the embers in your laughing breath.
You, who devoured tarot cards like candy.
You, who prayed
with your forehead pressed with ash
and your hands knucklebone deep in the ochre dirt.
Your crowned spirit shed its body like a garter snake,
leaving it here for us to burn
and in days to come I will build you monuments of spiraling bricks,
with the charcoal of your funeral pyre
here beneath the curtains of infernal sunset.
where I bathe in molten puddles
and tuck rose petals beneath my tongue,
where I dress your corpse for burial.
You were my mercurial star,
the alizarin drumbeat of my heart.
in the red gardens of Mars, the lions weep.
Corinne Gaston is an undergraduate university student who lives in a cooperative house that boasts four personable but histrionic cats and a small garden that never runs out of Swiss chard. Between being gifted dead birds, reading Octavia Butler, dumpster diving, and worrying about the next inevitable L.A. earthquake, she sometimes goes home to Pennsylvania where she finds snakes and tiny waterfalls in the woods. Her work has recently appeared in Bone Orchard Poetry and Camel Saloon.