Ecosexual, Abscission & Trapping Al-Mi'raj by Ariel Bartlett

Ecosexual, Abscission & Trapping Al-Mi'raj by Ariel Bartlett



The ground’s unhallowed calls rose

in husky tones

                     from moonlit reeds

          and rasping soil.

                       Its vaporous breath


               my window

                       with sordid invitations:

a smudged translation

                           of its repeated cries.


Incestuous orphan,

                 claim the widowed orchard.

           My hands obeyed

           the trochaic chant,


           my window open,


            water vines, and


            my defiant body

                                      free from

             twisted blankets.


My house held its breath as I

             traversed the backyard, dragging

             my feet through weeds and sludge

and parting the ferns that led

                                                    to the apple grove.


Beware the stiff spines of apple trees

and their illusion of poise.

              Beware their lucid sway

and try-hard resemblance

                                to a balladeer’s mosh pit.


               The ground pulled me to its calloused body,

               and the violence of violets ensnared me.

I tore the flowers

                             from their grassy sockets;

the dirt began to divide.


I fell as compliantly as gravel

into the earthy territory

where life and death

                           are synonymous.


The widow wedded me to its soil,

               lulling the orphan

               into maternal containment.


Beware nature’s mawkish poetry

                when, in nine months, wildflowers

                              will burst from this swollen land.




After a personal colour analysis,

I was told my hazel eyes meant

I was an



Now, every time I blink,

I feel the moribund foliage

of a deciduous forest.


I’m peering out from

the fog and ligneous residents

of the

               Dering Woods,


gripping the fabric of myth to me

like silk from a thousand discarded



You came here, searching

for the scintillant spider webs




from invisible spinnerets

and enshrined four students

on the fiftieth anniversary


of the Halloween massacre.

(Torchlight probed lichen and ferns,

but their cobwebbed bodies remained



You’re trapped in my eyes,

fighting your way through

thorny shrubs and magnolia.


Be careful, my dear.

It’s nearly




Trapping Al-Mi'raj

If sweet potato is the ground’s way of saying, ‘Thank you,’

my boots must’ve trodden too hard.


Adding salt to water and calling it soup was my only response

to that taciturn vegetable patch —


until my jaundiced hands were barely distinguishable from the brass

latch of my shed door.


The expanse inhaled both me and the rectangle of oak.

I felt my way along the wall


to the clenched metallic jaws that hung from hooks like an ad

for chin augmentation.


I relieved the traps of their amputated pirates

and dragged them behind me


to the fruitless orgy of weeds and flowers

just beyond my backyard.


The only animals on this island exist in poems

about yellow rabbits that robbed


an Adult Warehouse. Nevertheless, the lethal orthodontics

poised amongst the crown vetch and petty spurge


made the prospect of proteinous stew

seem almost believable.



Poetry by Ariel Bartlett, find Ariel on Instagram.

Traveler by Calmera Photography

Traveler by Calmera Photography

Malady and Other Woes by Sarah Walrus Hunt

Malady and Other Woes by Sarah Walrus Hunt