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Rigor Mortis

QU Montage

By Tanner Celestin

    After Ben Howard

Black flies on the windowsill,
a half-drunk bottle of beer
stagnant in stained glass 
sitting on his coffee table
with no ring beneath it.

My eyes are mirages shimmering 
above a desert tongue. 
Sand sifting down my throat, 
blistering gusts of a dry heave
wracking my chapped lips.

Haphazard sobs 
of a drought woman pleading
for cacti hands of a man
to quit concealing sweetness.

My face uptilted, eyes squinting,
swaying hips in senseless prayer
for rain falling from his licked lips
parting, but the sky is a sharp,
violent blue of endless horizon –

beyond the carcass-lined windowsill 
of his studio apartment
the grains of words I buried
are whipping up in fury –
sandstorm shattering glass, shrapnel 

severing flesh not yet
stiffened by the rigor mortis
of my flatlined screeching,
my palm, a savage shove
knocking the wind from his chest.