Black Petals Issue #87 Spring, 2019

Cottonmouth

Home
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
God's Canyon-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Napper's Holler, Chapter 10-Fiction by A. M. Stickel
Napper's Holler, Chapter 11-Fiction by A. M. Stickel
Napper's Holler, Chapter 12-Fiction by A. M. Stickel
There's an App for That-Fiction by Hillary Lyon
The Sepia Photograph-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Chorus-Poem set by Christopher Hivner
Granite Garden-Poem set from Michael Keshigian
Cottonmouth-Poem set from Hillary Lyon

Cottonmouth

 

Hillary Lyon

 

your tears are salty

and sweet to him

and he’s so very thirsty

 

that heaviness in your chest

—his embrace squeezing

the very life out of you

 

one delicious drop 

at a time when your dreams

are at their most melancholy

 

and monstrous

like his namesake snake

in the deepest southern swamp

 

no wonder you wake

shaken and slack and stupefied

and oh so very very thirsty

 

 

In the Flickering

 

Hillary Lyon

 

fire light or fluorescent light

both distort the true

edges of your worldview

 

one makes a bland soup

of all shadows cast

by inanimate objects

 

one makes a secret sauce

of your misplaced memories

spicy to the point

 

of pain recovered

only when you remember

the cold angel standing

 

on your porch with moonlight 

cascading off the sharp stone lines

of his cheekbones and carved lips

 

the statue who opened his hand

to give you the solemn message found 

in searing swirling dust and smoldering ashes

 

Ode to the Face on the Missing Person Poster

 

Hillary Lyon

 

sometimes innocent wandering 

ends in screaming

disturbing the water 

a murky figure

 

speaks words 

incomprehensible 

to the beloved’s ear

it’s the story old wives told 

 

a thousand times before

it’s an anonymous letter accusing

with no real evidence 

to prove that something 

 

anything and everything was wrong

desperate to explain 

why she wandered off alone

into the evening’s winter rain

 

Hillary Lyon, Lyonwrite@gmail.com, who wrote BP #87’s “There’s an App for That” tale and the 3-poem set, “Cottonmouth,” “In the Flickering,” and “Ode to the Face on the Missing Person Poster” (+ BP #85’s “Bottle Music,” BP #83’s “Strange Music Follows Her Everywhere,” and BP #78’s “The Lucky Break”) lives in southern Arizona, where she founded and still edits poetry journals for Subsynchronous Press, an Arizona-based independent poetry publisher. An SFPA Rhysling Award nominated poet, her poems have appeared in publications such as Eternal Haunted Summer, Illumen, Scfifaikuest, Farther Stars Than TheseDisturbed Digest, and Dreams & Nightmares, as well as numerous anthologies. When not writing, she creates illustrations for horror and pulp fiction publications. Her stories have appeared in 365 Tomorrows, Eternal Haunted Summer, Night to Dawn, The Sirens Call, Trembling with Fear, Yellow Mama, and numerous horror anthologies such as Alternate Hilarities 5: One Star Reviews of the Afterlife, Fright Mare, More Tales from the Blue Gonk Cafe, My American Nightmare, Night in New Orleans: Bizarre Beats from the Big Easy, Postcard Shorts, Stories from the Graveyard, Surreal Nightmares II, and White Noise & Ouija Boards. She also hand-paints boxes and furniture in the colorful Dia de los Muertos style. 

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