NATALIE MARIKO






THE EIGHTH CIRCLE


I.

abomination of desolation

the temple struts have fallen, blind & dumb.

before these kings kneels agony.

witness. the bull of heaven breaks

his hoof

as years against my face.

each line replenishes the blood that seeps to god.

each falling stone.

the temple cannot stand alone. it desponds,

trampled by adoring.

do they know I am queen?

where is the prince?

I search my galley stars, I cleave

my breast against the hand & blade alike

, to have a place to drain

the sacrifice.

but what of me? marrow stains

& tears the cloth that holds it.

this temple is plain,

however heaven showers it in holy light.

a queen is born or married. in a temple, the hierophant

drags what’s given up. both undone by the same rights—

desecration; lapse of time & good opinion.

thy’ve tarried thr swarming for new meat.

thy’ve harrowed the godhead w/ nothings.

hell has won. I am next.

II.

Ishtar’s ascent

Dumuzid, who was me whence I am a shade. amongst the agonised pillars bent against forgetting. your shackled heart cracking beneath the foot-passing tamps of time. under here chained forever behind stripping chthonic gates. recrudescence of hate for marvelled flesh or everything which arises. penumbral hook that digs these pillars & gates downward thru stammering light.

I rave irreverent you get precisely what you ask for. that the list you check with crossing eyes & stain with expectant spittle is crumpled memory, your basket overflowing. that you get what you have summoned returned in ribbon. that all this lifts like a record needle & the humcrackle unarrested phones. I whistle from the very belly of this earth thru slandering mouths for aeons forever. may you crush this life to dust in your fists & see what that gets you.


NATALIE MARIKO is a poet from New Jersey. She studied English & African Literature & Film at the University of Cape Town, is a member of St. Edmund's College, Cambridge & a former poetry editor of SAND Journal. Her works have appeared in Spectra Poets, no more poetry mag, TINGE, Cixous72, trainszine, Lazy Susan/blue arrangements, The Slanted House, New Contrast & in radio programs on reboot.FM & Cashmere Radio. She lives in Athens, Greece.