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stage four skull

Liam Burke

tw // bone cancer


golden shovel after sylvia plath’s “the colossus”

               remember          you are going to

die. no modern medicine can mend

so porous           , corroded a topography. the

knife     -point calcite sediment                immense

jagged geode trove       stage four skull

refanged : stalactic gates             , tectonic plates

nights    , i squat                in the cornucopia and

sine-wave distortion of a sinus cavity                   clear

the fragile reed bone to better hollow a tone. the

sawtooth chime             of spires, bald

socket                  bottom-             end. white

-knuckled sheer             shriek ‘round tumuli

, rosined rasp of orbital. doom               -clack of

mandible. your pace slowed each measure. your

slow-spur           largo trot             commanding all eyes

this poem was inspired by the following photo (tw // graphic imagery)



Liam Burke (he/him/himbo) lives in Ottawa, Canada, on unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe land. He is the co-author of 'machine dreams' with natalie hanna (collusion books, 2021) and ‘Orbital Cultivation’ with Manahil Bandukwala (2x4, forthcoming). His work has appeared in long con magazine, the Malahat Review, battleaxe press, and is forthcoming in Savant-Garde. He has been the Assistant Director of the Sawdust Reading Series, co-host of Literary Landscapes on CKCU, and performs in the band Moratorium. He studies online radicalization at Carleton University where he is pursuing a master's degree in philosophy.

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