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Peyton Ashe's poetry has appeared in publications such as Moonlight Voices, The Indie Journal, The Soul Wish, and Baacchor Magazine.

Dark Planet is designed and edited by Lucy A. Snyder. If you spot any errors, or if you have any comments, please contact her at lusnyde@cyberus.ca.

All materials copyright 1996-1999 by their respective creators. No stories, articles, poems or images from this webzine may be posted or published without the written consent of their creator(s).

Black Cherry Ice

by Peyton Ashe

Black cherry leaks across my knuckles
when he slips his fingers -- sweet and slow --
in the places he marks with his brand,
hissing steam my melody of freedom,
over the epidermis-sizzle. My hunter
is stealthy. He whispers how he wishes
to harvest the soils of my womb, the ones
webbing my legs scarlet when the moon maiden
walks. "Breathe, my love," he murmurs,
tearing through the flesh as if it were
layers of diaphanous tulle, and not so much
sweat-stained sister. I breathe for him, discard
the seeds, so his fingers may begin the planting.

On the field-grave, he sows the crop, the dust
on his brow flecked with the black cherry ice
he places between my lips, onto the warm-wet shelf
of tongue. His undulations unearth the bones
and I cling, knowing the scent of ancient tomb
and dying summer upon my face. I lick it away,
smile into the flavor of skeleton and old memories
cleaned from the black. Disembowelment
spills the innards of satin and lacquered wood,
painted violets and the things the widows
tucked into the box. We shake, and the stars
crash for our discovery and black cherry ice
lost in the mouth of our wounds. He slakes
the pain-ache with my blood, fills
his void with me. "I am your angel," I sing.

Tongue curling into the nether-folds, he impales
the soul-heart, makes the cells a macabre art
gallery. He fixes honeyed portraits
and finger-flutter symphonies in the corridor,
lays his head upon the curve of belly
not so soft as it is smooth, girl-tender.
Wisp of delicacy, he stalks the night,
my graveyard spirit, cruel as he is beautiful.
My lover feeds me globs of black cherry
ice, as I die beneath his hands.

His bites call me from the brink I am
forever hovering over. No teeth
are as true, no language obscure
as the whisper-damp saturation of his words
on my throat. He brushes rose-hips against my chin,
stigmatizes my palm with a thorn.
His stare reminds me of our graveyard times
and how each autumn season, I breathe
for black cherry ice on the roof of my mouth
and crave the darkest fruit when the tears
turn to truth on an opened sepulchre.
"Fly," he commands and I surrender,
trailing uterine kernels in my wake.