by Bethany W. Pope
Third Prize in the Bare Fiction Prize for Poetry 2014
Dante cased his suicides in wood;
Every tree bled pain and hard stories, so
Agony lingered as the corpse cooled. Rot
Tempered nothing—in this cosmos. My life
Hates itself. My own skin constricts me. Half-
Ignorant, beyond correction, there’s no
School to teach me how to breathe better air.
Trees, even thorned and streaked with fresh shit from
Harpies, contribute something useful—they
Equip Hell with air to fuel The Fire of
Ages. It’s a kind of happiness—the
Noble contribution to God’s goal. A
Twitch, a drop—then usefulness as my hair
Is transformed to leaves, my bones to branches.
Bethany W. Pope
Wild Thorn was placed second in the Bare Fiction Prize for Poetry 2014 and first appeared in Issue 5 of Bare Fiction Magazine in March 2015.