–After reading Charles Simic’s prose poem collection, The World Doesn’t End
The ice in hell — the ninth circle — was born on my mother’s breath.
As blood dripped down my back, I watched the cool puffs spiral down a tunnel of hands and flames. Clouds descended. Snowflakes now fangs of hail. The storm passed like an angel. Souls went silent. They shivered.
At the bottom of the hole, my childhood hero stood encased in a coffin of ice. His red wrestling tights burned with black slashes. A wire cable circled his throat–a necktie and a clumsy apology. In a glacial slab nearby, color and shape bubbled like red candy then cooled and congealed into my betrayer. Mother hardened into harsh contours, a knife held high, my back aching from its punch. Her tomb, clear stained glass and jagged. Her face, twisted in cubist rage.
Before I died, I pitied my hero and mourned my killer, a memory of cinnamon washing the blood from my tongue, her one way to love me, an apple pie spiced with Red Hots.
David Arroyo is a nerd and ex-catholic. His Dungeons & Dragons alignment is Neutral Good. He holds an MA in English from Florida State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast. He’s published poetry in Stirring, Silver Blade, Burning Word, and Abyss & Apex. Future work is forthcoming in Coffin Bell and Nocturne.
A Song for David