Household Fires

Body baby blessed fire—

Blessed the baby God—

The worm-baby, warm.

The hallow tongue psalm—

Crow’s blessed blood.

Blood downed by blood.

Things to take out found

Worm-god: holy hiss—

Lapsed, she rolled over.

We never saw our children—they had painted themselves before bed that night—descend the crooked stairs and exhaled the fires of their dreams. How I knew they dreamed of my skin expunged. How I knew they wished my bones smoking. Their mother’s breasts sagged as they watched her sleep.

The Mass fanned.

Children as crows feet—

Stunted and rolling fog

or smoke or fog-smoke—

They flapped as they ran?

They pecked as they ran.

The worms

Melted in

The fire as

They melted

In their lung

Children mouth.

Buried to my

Waist I watched

The rest of the heave.

Ben Spivey is a co-founder of Blue Square Press, an imprint of Mud Luscious Press. He is the author of Flowing in the Gossamer Fold and the forthcoming novella Black God.