desiccated, burnt
weak of body

to the eye, topography
crushed beneath the fist of god
ebony swallows the night
stars snuffed beneath
an ashy veil

cloying taste of blood
on the palate
bitter iron
melded with the permanence of dust

charred scent prevalent
notes of underlying rot
and yet
sweetness lingers
a hand clasped in mine

Zetetic separator

—Beth Cato is the author of The Clockwork Dagger series from Harper Voyager, which includes the novella Wings of Sorrow and Bone. Her newest novel is Breath of Earth. She’s a Hanford, California native transplanted to the Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, son, and requisite cat. Follow her at and on Twitter at @BethCato.


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  1. New Publications Through July |
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    […] poetry publications: – “Post-Apocalypse as Described by a Wine Reviewer” in Zetetic – “Footprints” and “Shopping Spree” in Star*line 39.3 (print […]

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