3 poems by Avra Margariti

Abstraktes Bild via Gerhard Richter

Untitled Peter Pan Game

Deep in the woods, winter
Fast approaching

>Objective: collect twigs, build shelter

Me and the lost boys shiver
Underbrush and other arboreal
Detritus slipping through
Our ice-sculpted grip.
We move like in a molasses-slow dream
Our noses burning with
The imminence of snow

>Objective: collect twigs, build shelter

This is no Neverland, nor promised land
Of fairy-dusted marvels
Me and the lost boys huddling for warmth
While wolves and other woodland beasts
Howl in anticipation
Of child-sized cadavers

>Objective: collect twigs, build shelter

Peter, flying below the bare canopy
Watches as if we’re a collector’s
Curious specimens
Never once offering to help us
Make this winter wasteland
A home

The City and the Fury

Our city, cannibalistic Kronos, eats its own.
Built on the back of a gargantuan dragon,
an urban monstrosity of chrome and metal,
science and magic
straining toward the smog-smothered sky.
The rules of our Overlord
(don’t call him Mayor, don’t make me laugh)
change on a whim, one time a butterfly wing,
another a hurricane.
Our dragon sleeps under our feet. Shackled, sedated,
does he know he is a beast of fire,
that he could immolate us all?

Our Overlord’s newest invention
(don’t call it an innovation,
don’t make me cry before his army):
a furnace that turns dissidents into dinner,
intravenously administered
to the dragon whose back we have usurped,
his lava-hot body warming our homes,
his scorching snores a neon electricity
that powers everything, including this infernal contraption.

We walk. Everyone who questions the ways of the city,
everyone who attempts to run away.
We walk our Overlord’s plank,
a conveyor belt leading to a pit of bubbling lava.
This is the fate they wrote for us,
our wilful minds and bodies
become the sludge that feeds our dragon,
deepening his wretched oblivion.

Anger has been sizzling, but now it sparks
and detonates into being.
Perhaps all of us are time bombs, sleeper agents
hiding in dark recesses even from ourselves.
Our conveyor belt screeches to a halt,
our chains and meat hooks falling away,
metal melting into tarry pools of silver.
I stand on the edge of the abyss and I open my mouth,
belching out a fury of unfettered flames.

Landing Strip Body Bizarre

My body has turned into a landing strip,
Supermarine Spitfires boring
machine gun holes into my shoulders,
Amelia Earhart’s “lovely red Vega”
a stab-wound across my belly.

I lie flat on a bare mattress,
my back riddled with bedsores.
Riven remains of Sputnik 1 compress
the unfortunate foothills of my chest,
reeking of alien stars.

Railway tracks sprout upon my legs,
unshaven since last summer, before
I became more infrastructure than person.
My lower body plays out the history of locomotives,
imperial exploitation of spices and silks,
paper and gunpowder transported along railroads;
the birth of stunt double cinema,
homunculi sweeping the tracks clean of
blood and loose teeth–
stunts gone wrong.

The trolley problem comes next,
tiny people tied to my shins,
a reverse Gulliver in the path of oncoming vehicles.
I could help them, but getting out of bed
or even lifting my deadweight arms
is becoming harder by the day.
Besides, I don’t want to disturb
the Lockheed Vega on my rumbling belly,
in case Amelia’s body ever comes back
from the desert of lost aviators
to reclaim what is hers.

Avra Margariti is a queer author, Greek sea monster, and Pushcart-nominated poet with a fondness for the dark and the darling. Avra’s work haunts publications such as Vastarien, Asimov’s, Liminality, Arsenika, The Future Fire, Space and Time, Eye to the Telescope, and Glittership. “The Saint of Witches”, Avra’s debut collection of horror poetry, is forthcoming from Weasel Press. You can find Avra on twitter (@avramargariti).

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