Inscription on a Ruined Plinth

Inscription on a Ruined Plinth
Tristan Beiter

There is no joint less genial than knees,
no jointure on this garden, full of weedy
pools that drown the bees
that try to land there. Write a hymn
to gods of pain and leave
behind the bottle-flies

that come to eat the penitent who flies
from them. His mumbled needs
were written in the veins of leaves
left in vases of weeds
on the table on the sands between him
and the woman who is to be

his wife. He gave her beads
that sparkled the remains of mayflies,
flesh and glass inside a hymn
to burning gods of knees
and structures, gods who can’t tell weeds
from roses. They take sins, leave

aches and crumbled leaves
behind, your body marked by bees
who wait among the weeds
of want and illness. The ones who will not fly
are scared of falling to their knees
in agony, of being called upon for hymns

to he who is the Lord of Songs, him
who know to leave
them with abandon. The man kneads
his hands to crush the bee
and call Beelzebub, the Lord of Flies
who wreaths his horns in weeds

and briars, talon-rips the weeds
into the ground, makes self-surprising hymns
to human names and anything that flies
from his enchantments, anything that leaves
him, bears the sting of bees.
He fell down from the throne onto his knees

and tumbled weed-wracked pedestals, leaving
hymns to swollen knees and gods’
forgetfulness of bees, and men, and flies.


Tristan Beiter is a poet and speculative fiction nerd from Central Pennsylvania. His poems have previously appeared in GlitterShipEternal Haunted Summer, Abyss & Apex, and Bird’s Thumb. When not writing or reading, he can usually be found crafting absurdities with his boyfriend or yelling about literary theory. Find him on Twitter at @TristanBeiter.