Witch of my mouth devours soil I reap between my bone-beacons, single finger spades, antlers of my arms—nails catch and claw a lantern-length long, covered in soot-stained grime. This is the tongue of the earth, this cracked ground, this burning mine. Dig, dig deep, screaming a sound seventeen years long to empty shafts; rotten beams shift as they groan. Dynamite blasts out white noise, but this is my home, this dying mine, this pitch earth—drops of absinthe drip on black-pearl bodies, match strike away from a pyre promise. Offerings long forgotten at the birth of her altar, mother wakes. Mother wants. Seventeen-years is a long, long time.
Tia Cowger is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University. A poet at heart, her work has been published in The Examined Life Journal, Gone Lawn, The Olive Press, Sheila-Na-Gig, and Coffin Bell Journal.