9 of Swords

L. E. Francis


Let me cut out my stupid tongue —
ghost after ghost carved & exorcised,
the blade scraping until there is no light

left in the cave; full dark, same as night,
walls & floor & sky, an inkstain smeared
through the pages of every letter,

every story, every song, phantom blood
from phantom limbs; reading the spread
like the constellations, all meaning

an uneducated guess, a gesture of faith,
the point being the querent has missed
the point & in spirit plants the same seed

that grows the tangled tongue, that grows
a conjured heart for a conjured love
thorn-throated as she sings the night in

& with ritual accuracy cuts,
until the hum of distant stars echo.
Emptiness meets emptiness.





L.E. Francis is a multiple medium procrastinator living among the Washington Cascades. Her poetry has appeared in Mookychick, Nightingale & Sparrow, Marías at Sampaguitas, and Moonchild Magazine. Find her online at nocturnical.com.