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BATHING WITH FRIDA by Wesley Rothman

/ / Issue 5, Poetry

With a cigarette between my fingers
and flowers bound up in her hair

dry morning bathes us
in the claw-foot tub. Asphyxiation

by drowning. This dawn welcomes us
to another side. Every bird lies

belly up while critters walk the wire
between worlds. The cracked abalone

gives its water. So floats the lone skiff,
her satin dress. Ashore, bodies bait the sun.

And if this afterworld could turn us
back, resurrection might seem less

magnificent. Like impossible succulents,
meaty vines, we soak in every drop.

And intricate systems pump life
through arterial hoses, strain veins

to their splitting point. And our hearts
bloated with intuition and lava

burst from the surface. All that ash
and pitiful flame. All our parched bits

smothered by smoke. Bury us
in this world after. Lock us into lucid rock

and porous memory, capturing
heat, old worlds, and mineral.



Issue 5 Contents                                       NEXT: How to Eat Dragonfruit by Sarah Sweeney