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Autonomy  •  19 October 2021  •  Fiction

Selected Poems from 'The Magic Salamander'

This piece may be triggering for those who've been abused by the church

By Joseph Lucas
Content Warning: Sexual references, blood, drugs, queerphobia, death, child abuse
Selected Poems from 'The Magic Salamander'

Mormonboyz.com

"There are no homosexual members of the church.”
-David A Bednar 

There is a tragic evil among us,
don’t click the thumbnail. 

Scrub to the best part,
scrub away the sin that sticks soot to skin,
stubborn and gloved,
scrub again. 

Let me ask you a question,
are you over eighteen?
We believe in exodus at that age,
enter the shower of seven heads,
the Cerberus of shower heads. 

The garments are soaked
to transparent nude,
nipples press through like tiny mountains.

These fat tongues lap
at the leaky water.
Look down at their wagging tails!

They cup them in their palms like bibles,
shuddering for the dog to kiss the nape,
wash his feet like Jesus did,
lick the soot like sherbet. 

Watch as they nuzzle
their nose into the arch of the foot—
The sensation is like a thousand sparkling nettles.

And with their wives,
they would press into them like paper,

Only in missionary.

Slits of Christ with lids closed,
Bruises, cuts and the heavy red blush.

Folding into each other,
like mission papers.  


Birthday Watch

Since December it has lived with me,
inanimate and matte,
a sort of sleek parodic charm. 

You had to remove four links,
before it sat around my slender wrist.  

It tells me the time, like the one where
I am a priest. The bread ripped apart,
waxy cotton buds
soaked in rehearsed prayer, tears 

into shrivelled peonies  
then passed around like coke.
When the recital is unsound,
It must be repeated. Again.
The nod of the bald head. 

And now the hands are stuck,
Oh, great stasis.
The pen-hole mouth that whispers; ‘How’s this?’
And I fall beneath
the shimmering rapture. 

It’s a funeral song;
The child is dead.
I stamp him down into a shrink-wrapped pill
and pray for it to dissolve into holy water.

In time, I will think,
How I have fallen considerably far.
Clouds are blooming,
pink mushrooms exploding over the surface
of Venus and her other lights. 

My birthday watch,
tells me the time, inside the chapel.
How quickly my mother knows,
glowing bright on Sunday.
Fingers kissing the organ keys  
and then bunching up like roses.

I will let time be stuck here.

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