portion of the artwork for Nicholas Alti's poetry

in the way planets cast shadows & nettle blisters skin
Nicholas Alti

at the foot of the hill, one who wishes in quiet
for a glint of reassurance in a haunted bucolic

so not like sundogs (nor coronas) how daylight
bathes us via some faraway melting

citation needed, maybe, how six moons
make one whisper

how one wisp can mend embers

I’ve never quite thrived but I know I’ve had hopes
like dreams reduced to angles & resin

seed which spills in hopes for resting

I’ve poured full my organs with muddled nettle
topped off with tonic to fizzle

I’m cupping liquid to colossal my dripping

eventually body becomes turbulence
an entire night of insects / sacrament in small chirps

& intermittent quiet

& intermittent quiet gives in
to the moon mounting with ire the sun

some new song about dark

but I too pretend anything is a beginning

even the fog of my breath in the empty morning

even the dent in my head in the empty mirror

even the crescent of moon dangling due north

the way it hooks like a wound on the cranium
from a stochastic tumor’s removal

I can’t recall what astrology says about it

then again I can’t recall how prayers end

or how to block heaven
with my own little handful of sin

now I’m left there before the hill like a cross without worshippers

I’ve sung so many songs for fire I’m belching ashes into trade winds

I’ve left behind no ulterior motives: I melt & melt consciously

here I am, condensation—or, even, the tongue
that caught the first drop of rain

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 55 | Spring/Summer 2020