portion of the artwork for Nicholas Alti's poetry

blueprint for amen
Nicholas Alti

half eaten rosary, tongue cut                                            out
                                                                    godless mouth, a/gape
I find gods                               in mouths
& tongues in them, & the wishes from before we quit wishing, &
forget the difference                                      forget what is wanted

soiled messiah, embarrassed, I’m lingering moisture,
storm residue                      like,       dawn toads croak
or old dog’s snot nosed gag
I’m wet wet coughs                           viscous depletion
my swampy eyes &        spindly bloody needing limbs

it comes                         from outer space
this fear of body & urges for obliteration
it comes                         from the body
this discomfort with space, this vast need

oh but I’m nothing like god
if I were at all powerful                            why, I’d rest

mostly I’m all fingers inside               fresh wounds in hearts
persistent touch of hurt                       the exhaustion that cools the evening
a beast with teeth like famine            Heliopsis in a bottle on the moon

the way my body is a star in that it is unpopulated & probably dead

more horrendous tongues stargazing my cosmology
tasting for the first time an abyss
touch by touch       organizing my drench into amen


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