It’s safer to picture them as hundreds
of coat hangers tangled up in orgy,
wet snarls of wire twisting unto rust,

every angle acute and closing, everything
elbows. Follow any line to ride a hook
that snags, a jagged machine-cut terminus.

Or sibilant intersection of mantises,
joints that scissor around and through,
serration and the wrong kind of hunger:

under glass, symmetrical cannibals
oblivious to the cracking of their chitin,
their dual roles as consumed and consumer.

So, too, I hear the hiss and clatter
of dripping sacks of sodden beaks and claws
still twitching, bearing false witness;

black gospel of happiness as if this were
right, rubbing threat with memory of
peck and scratch mechanics, but precise.

Legs like X’s. Scissor, yes: guillotine whisper
of blade on blade and closing on delusion,
their desperate friction of self-immolation,

bone against bone and praying for smoke
as shards push hard through puncture wounds.
They burn themselves / each other for fiction.

(first appeared in volume 1 of Constellations)