by Katy Naylor
I am birthing the apocalypse
flesh arced like a cathedral
this eye, the bloody center, is a darker texture.
A tiny pressure cooker sits, vice-gripped between my teeth, housing
nails & pins & ball bearings,
I’m telling myself to calm down so that I don’t jump off of or out of anything
I see me in orbit, feeling that black gravity
I try to see how high I can count before the sun begins its long descent.
even the sun allows for invasion, pushing oxygen around like schoolyard bullies
You don’t know, you don’t know that rest and peace are threats to a spinning top
I yearn for hands steady enough to grip the sun without fear of burning
(In order of appearance, this cento borrows lines from: Ottavia Paluch (“What I Hate About the Stars,” Issue 18); Chase Feree (“Being Alive,” Issue 18); Caroliena Cabada (“I become a hurricane,” Issue 18); Christopher Sturdy (“Age 24,” Issue 18); SG Huerta (“Anatomy,” Issue 18); Matthew J Andrews (“2am and I am Thinking About the Black Hole from interstellar,” Issue 19); Mary Rose Manspeaker (“I may not be the Jesus Christ I once fondly imagined myself, but I think I must make a good cup of tea,” Issue 19); Kevin Huttenmuller (“tearing down my body to find god”, Issue 19); Kayla Aldritch (“Of All Stars The Most Beautiful,” Issue 18); Cyndie Randall (“Your Dreams and Your Light Are Too Ordinary,” Issue 18)
Katy Naylor lives by the sea, in a little town on the south coats of England. She writes in the time that falls between the cracks. She has had work published in places including Selcouth Station, Zero Readers and The Bear Creek Gazette. Her chapbook, Postcards from Ragnarok (Alien Buddha, 2021) is out now. Find her online at voidscrawl.co.uk or on twitter @voidskrawl