excerpts from X



                    it is not subtle,                      our kind of sin

as when bioluminescent angels glitter the black expanse

in phosphorescent light.                                                                          it is called nyctiluca.

                          isn’t it ravishing?

isn’t it how it feels to hunt

                                                                 and make of our meat God and child.

of knives, and of dim body

                            we resurrect the self.

ruin of things clean and                               of it, the holy.

and it went on like this

in dreams

of fields

where we could cut the body from the body.

I stood over you

and cut my palm through the center in an X.

I stood over your body and poured

down like summer light through tinted pane.

                              here body, now you are of me--

of this,               this summer that holds us sick and grey.

of my X you are so pretty,

                              and resurrect.

O, this black hour,

and the lit up blades

of grass under starlight

illuminate and illuminating.

how I am alive

                                            and you,

how you are not,

and how you rub it in.





they ask me how you can love a maniac,

but honestly, I can’t remember much of you,                                only the cufflinks

                                and the way you stuffed yourself into a black jacket,

                                and the way you glide full and so tall, your body echoing ten voices

                                talking over the same radio channel along a nighttime drive,

                                not English or anything,                                but an underworld song.

honestly, the clamouring of me still remains. how my body changed positions

like water as you charmed it                                hands up in sermon,

and I sprayed blood like down across the floor.





I put my               x

in her               x. Not there, but

in her god space. My fingernails were

filed today, round & loud

like               x

and when I did this she               x

and it was

as beautiful as Atlantis.

I could not contain her world,

and the black sea, its birth place.

I wore cherry lips to kiss

her all over like the               x               that she is.

And it was so hard to               x               her

after I               x               her. And it was so hard to see myself

in mirrors with my hands and nails all filled with               x.

I am so afraid

of               x

When I wear my hair high up, and let her pull my ponytail

at least a part of her liked it,               I know this,

before I               x               her

out and into the garden.




lisa basileLisa Marie Basile is the author of APOCRYPHAL and the chapbooks Andalucia and war/lock. She is the editor-in-chief of Luna Luna Magazine, and her poetry and essays have appeared in PANK, Tin House, Coldfront, The Nervous Breakdown, The Huffington Post, Best American Poetry, PEN American Center, Dusie, The Ampersand Review, and many other publications. She’s also a perfume writer and a freelance writer. She holds an MFA from The New School.