Lyrik Courtney




                                    and what of the men
                  living ruinous and discarded
cadavering their gaunt bodies 

                                    through ochre mud like the rest of us,
                  mouths nothing more than toothless urns
for tea leaves and cigarette ash? 

                                    the others ran them out;
                  a limping horde, blood sleeting
their furs in great sheets— 

                                    in the night they cried like panthers
                  out of fear or hunger, eyes yellowing
in the shape of moons. 

                                    i nursed them when it rained;
                  leashed the chickens to a tree.
they were too poorly 

                                    to hunt. curious, it was,
                  how i tried so hard not to watch
but still caught sight of the feathers, 

                                    the breaking open.
                  In the ache and shift my fingers
knew their ruthlessness, even

                                    appreciated it.
                  it is hard to hate a creature
that loves so plainly: 

                                    lunging at every gentle touch,
                  afraid to lose the hurting.
and i will come again

                                    in the morning, collect
                  the leashes and adjust the tarp.
i will know them as mine.



Lyrik Courtney is a native Floridian, born in 1999. Currently they work as a poetry editor for Venus Magazine, and their work is published/forthcoming in both Polyphony H.S and Liminality. You can find them tweeting at @lyrik_c.