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The Gravity of Abattoirs

Flowers of mercury
fall from our mouths.

Thoughts crepitate
on bleached stone

and briars curl
in the thickets

bones lie
in the dust of lunar oceans.

Moss undulates

but in your liver
a china pebble stirs

and the skies
are vaulted with
arterial tracery.


We live above. Despite the loll
            of heavy blooms
termite feudality

ignore our lungs
of steel wool

we are pillars of decay
wrapped in a pall

cauls of coal
long forgotten

a lake of mercury
            petrified woods
Far down below. Slowly bells toll.


When shores crumble
flee to the woods

weave a wattle throne
find leaves for your hair
make an arbour
of silence and decay

settle your flurries

these places are the robes
often forgotten
but they remember

            when our kings
            on the flayings of
            forest gods

            when artifice mirrored
            the groves in stone.

staring up at
the branch which
hangs us

torn from the

black avalanches
muffle the green bells.

There are no runes
in the knot of the noose.
The silver is too heavy
the air too thin.


Marcus Berian Nicholls currently lives in London, where he is studying for a PhD in Adaptation Studies and Decadent Literature. His work has appeared in The Missing Slate and the anthology The Dance Is New (Mardibooks).

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