Everyone knows a good dog
comes when it’s called
and hell, I called her, unaware
of the bargain, the leash tightening
everyone’s choke. Maybe you’ll blame me
for the end of the world
like I do – but last time I said sorry, I tried to tell you
of the falling-pit, no end to the down,
how each 2am’s been a howl cramping the chest
for as long as I remember, terror-dried eyes
slammed open to the dark, and each dawn
a bright hurt as the light scrapes in. How many times
did I mouth to the nothing take me, just make it all
And out in the blank, something heard. The stars and moon slid gone
as she slunk in, the quiet weather of her mouth exhaled
the hot sours of an ancient cave
and my tired blood leaped alive to promise, to threat
and my toes dead to the earth for days
found the wet rolling hills of her tongue, and so I walked on in.
In her great belly, sleep
like the unspiral of a saved infant, lap-cradled at last.
In her great belly, the picked bones of gods, of all human grief
names of tears laid to rest.
The prophecy-vault of her ribs has stolen my language of howl, her hunger piqued
by one modern morsel, for the crunch of continents, to lap up
the sorrowful marrow of the sun.
When she devours you, too, I will find you in the dark.
When I tell you I’m sorry
this time it won’t be the truth.
Ankh Spice is a sea-obsessed poet from Aotearoa, New Zealand. His work has been internationally published in a wide range of journals and magazines, online and in print, and has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize (by Rhythm & Bones Press and Black Bough Poetry). He is a Poetry Contributing Editor at Barren Magazine, and a co-editor at IceFloe Press.