Nautilus Cup

Nautilus Cup
Amelia Gorman

We drink from apes and priests, from monks and nuns, from lions and bears, from ostriches and cats, and from the Devil himself.”
Moses Pflacher, 1589

We drink ocean’s meat from silver shells
and sunshine from the sea
Nacre, lacre, gold and glass
melt in my throat –
odd that snow doesn’t

We drink
round and round to the slimming center

You outdoing me once more, I remember
you, legs braced straight against the world,
lips pressed against the sky
as the aurora fell in your mouth

Something you tried was your poison
I don’t know which or I would try it myself

(myself in museums looking at a Lalique
perfume bottle empty, through a pane of our older tastes,
it would be nothing for me to swallow the divider whole
but I only look. I can smell
sandalwood musk and rose oil greasing my tongue)

You, rinsing memory’s river from fistfuls
of soil into my mouth
You spitting wind and ink

(myself at a tarot reading
told to watch out for the sister of cups
years too late to avoid you
or protect you)

The pthalos all taste like grays now
the verdants too
but sometimes, lips pressed against the river
I can still taste your joy

Amelia Gorman writes code, poetry and horror stories in Minnesota. Some of her poetry can be found in Liminality #8, Silver Blade, and Eternal Haunted Summer. She tweets from @gorman_ghast.