Joshua Gage
-after Eduardo C. Corral

Candlelight scatters through the room
like dirt across a coffin. Shadows
drape themselves into satin. Lost
among their pleats, the orphan.
In her hands, I become a chalice
overflowing with thirst. The hem
of her shirtsleeve splashes my cheek.
I yawn, and she plucks opalescent moths
from beneath my tongue, and casts
them across a velvet tablecloth.
She begins my reading like an autopsy
disrobing my ghosts. My future is a fable
fed catkins and alder leaves.
                                            With a silver knife
she trims a proboscis and buries it
beneath the napery. For one night
the devil cannot rehearse my name.


Joshua Gage is an ornery curmudgeon from Cleveland, His first full-length collection, breaths, is available from VanZeno Press. Intrinsic Night, a collaborative project he wrote with J. E. Stanley, was published by Sam’s Dot Publishing. His most recent collection, Inhuman: Haiku from the Zombie Apocalypse, is available on Poet’s Haven Press. He is a graduate of the Low Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Naropa University. He has a penchant for Pendleton shirts, rye whiskey and any poem strong enough to yank the breath out of his lungs.