Burning Haibun After Geryon

by CD Eskilson

Night quiets in his ruby look. Night dispersed as snowmelt, wings stretched and imitating flight. A soughing stretches between pines. He recalls the chime-like startle when it happens. Recalls a boy’s ache of what is owed. His throat recalls pruned orchids, something earned with excise. How he clipped the red curls off him to no longer feel beautiful. In his mind he overwrites reasons for his body to endure, until finding a defense, the same shield as the ratty T-shirt a boy gave him. Who cut wingholes in its back, hung the fabric scraps to nightghost when he slept. In truth, a boy cut wingholes to escape without a glance. The night cut into a prism peaked at quiet. At night, regards monsterhood with clarity, the lie of lips that cloak his fangs. His birth plummets from a dragon, his life another violation of the sky. He conjures another lover to abandon him, not with the first glance at his wings but the way he chokes on knowing how to want. A flightwreck unfolding in his skull. He thinks of where else he might come from, the shade unyoking from his body. The wall of night collapses, he assents into its mouth.

CD Eskilson is a nonbinary poet, editor, and educator. Their work appears or is forthcoming in the Cortland Review, Vagabond City Lit, Moonchild Magazine, Peach Mag, and Yes Poetry, among others. CD serves as Poetry Editor for Exposition Review and a reader for Split Lip Magazine. They live in Los Angeles. For more information, visit cdeskilson.com