Frankie bites a peach, axks what’s gonna be on the test.

Here sit our vessels, dressed up in sound,

shrouded in the rattle of bone & the tap of Celeste’s pencil

as she copies questions onto the surface of the desk:

How can we cut

the carotid artery,

and how will the heart,

that is no longer beating,


In which chamber

will the attack

be the end of us,

and which will just make us

very lucky,

an avoider of the salt shaker,

fierce embracer of children?

“We went over this last week”, Ms. Moon says.

All these things have passed,

are passing.

“We’ve got to move on”, she says.

Last week’s answers, they were that

The wall of the heart has three layers and that

the Indians, they drum.

They form circles and they drum.

They drum past the time that it gets dark and their hands are tired,

they keen and cut to bleed, hoping that their time is never.

Frankie sucks a peach pit,

lips wet as a feral cat’s.

Turns and says if he don’t pass this one,

he’ll bust open the head of the angry Moon,

carves an elegy to blood and bone in the stale air behind him.


Elisa Abatsis

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