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A Lexicon for Apocalypse, Ariel Moniz

Also appears in Voyager Magazine

It has that iron teeth, gunpowder reek

and I know then what comes—

it will taste like blood in the earth,

devour like mud worshipping

at the swaying feet of a guillotine.

No one undresses a martyr

before the crackle of the stake,

for the same reason that they gather there—

here are no words that reach

the ears of a mob or a frightened thing.

It will come, coagulated

like lies around a trembling truth,

and I too would wish to be a fool

if I didn’t already know the taste of

the bitter seeds of this poison fruit.

It’s not a gaping wound or snakebite ooze,

it does not wear me as a trinket of a curse—

to know about the end of the earth

you need only look at those hands

with five fingers and fortunes in their palms.

Do you see it now, you, a detonator,

you, flesh that never sleeps?

Look at us, swollen ego,

we know ourselves, festering sore,

and tell me if there has ever been a creature

that deserved its fate more?

What will we do with the words

buried beneath our rolling heads?

Where will we carry the burden

of this lexicon for our greatest fear?

In what pocket, what grave, can it rest?

What wind will stoke the ashes,

carry the cry out over the silent earth

snapping free from the oblivion we created,

“We were here!”


Ariel K. Moniz is a lifelong writer and voracious reader. Her work can be found in Blood Bath Literary Zine, The Raven Review, Pussy Magic, and Vamp Cat Magazine, among others. She is currently writing her first novel and poetry collection. You can visit her at

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