the chariot (the victor)


by Nic Alea

i’d tattoo, solar plexus,
onto your chest.
tagging your skin
to the vibration
of needle pin
bombing the side of a subway car
and i’d crawl inside you
like a gothic tower
and you’d still be branded.
and i’d tattoo
onto your rib cage
and the cursive letters
would dig into your
and you’d rub dirty
along the grooves.
you’d think of crystals
and how you’d clean them
with moonlight
after you kissed the base of my throat,
scraped my skin with calcite,
i’d suck on
for healing,
‘til it drained
all salt from my body,
and you’d use my skin
to stretch canvas’
and paint water color landscapes
onto my stomach
and suns on my chest
and moons into my labia
with silver paint,
it fades against
human flesh,
but when stretched
it turns parched,
and i’d settle for
a ply wood cross.
dress me in white linen
stained with pomegranate seeds
that you found in meadows
of poland
and i could sing you
into a sound from between
my phantom wings,
are you tired, roma?
from wandering
fingertips moving along
prayer beads,
shouting hail mary’s
into the starving sea,
tell me, roma,
can i make you sacred
like your prayer shawl
of silk weave?
in a wedding dress
you fell backwards
started speaking in tongues
that were cut into the sky
branded hieroglyphics
and you thought to birth children,
but instead
let me flip tarot cards onto the base of your throat,
then let me sculpt you into a consecrated icon,
and when you plucked iris petals with your mouth,
i saw your eyes,
my god,
i cried.
sometimes i ask you
if i can count the tree rings round
your eyelids,
count your age in nature,
tap into your turquoise politics
of the river
and then i told you,
in what words,
i do not know,
but the truth,
the soil is where you
would stretch your limbs,
when they come to hear you fight
with body movements
they will wrap their wrists in rose stems
and hope that you settle
into solid ground
enough so your legs become
ivy and your feet stretch roots
into the earth’s chest cavity
and you sit still
at the edge of the river’s sanctuary
and you whisper like a scorpion
an ancient prayer hymn 
and the moon takes your
and reveals herself to you. 
and one more,
queen of swords (the crystallizer)
holy wood
i burn paolo santo
because the shamans call it holy wood
and i call myself brother
like they do on mountain tops
where orange draped spirits
carve hiero into tree trunks,
do you want me to make you holy?
would you carry raw ocho gemstones
in your pockets
if you knew it meant
you could eat
without feeling guilty?
i tried purging on words that
sacrificed demons
and i played fiddle to some magnolias
tied ribbons round these taste buds
and i wonder
how the monks
in the angkor region of asia
felt about food,
i wonder if they kept diaries
counting calories
or skipped meals
as if the hollowness of their
stomachs wasn’t to feel closer
to a higher power
but to feel as
thin as the bones
that structure them
and i come from California
and i come from a place where
womyn think skinny is a compliment
and front lawns are littered with silicon
and you can’t find your front door step
without tripping over
the fault line of superficial beauty
and i say
that my parents raised me right
to think outside the boundaries
of the pressure peers put on me
but that’s not to say
that when mainstream media
and classmates told me
that a size 16 was ugly
i couldn’t help
but remove myself completely
let tally mark scratches
on my hip bones become distracting
so i could forget lines on
bathroom scales
and focus my time looking
for the one thing
to gag me
and spit up day old adderall
to reverse words like “you fucking fatty”.
and I still refer to food
as the biggest demon
to ever slay me
but those trials are slowly sinking beneath me
and i see progress on the daily
of womyn creating goddesses
out of their bodies
as it should be
i still call myself brother
like the shaved head spirits
peering over mountain tops
just observing
the delicate efforts we put
into self destructing
and i still pick at my food
with wooden spoons
that i carved out of
paolo santo
and i burn it
because the smoke rings mean clarity
and my gut isn’t
so much sunken
and it brings me back to
that place in california
where i’m from and i can
a forest made of real bodies
and i can envision never again speaking
the words, “they hate me because
of what they see”
and i’ve learned that beauty
can be manifested
by power of believing
that skin deep
is so far from the reality
of me
so i’ll burn paolo santo,
so i’ll burn holy wood
for you
if you’d like to see me
and i’ll tell you
some stories
about trees
and fallen leaves
and we’ll eat
the letters and consonants
off the plate
and yeah we’ll
and yeah we’ll drink
and yeah we’ll finally be merry.