Lisa Marie Basile


much younger, you see,

a girl sharing a bed

with her brother,          much younger.


and the sky, how it perched, watching

the bedroom from the outside. a silent mobile

of such light.


it is ritual—

a girl says her name without the accent

a girl says her mother is home being a mother.


making the bed with the coverlet

the cotton is embarrassed by the girl’s sincerity.


a lie fondles her whole life.

that a girl is not an orphan

ought not be so dark.

ought not share beds, to not be worth nothing,

or such things.




In the brush, a circle of a hundred bodies looking upon a thing. It’s okay, it’s okay, do not worry — they want to be there. They want to look. They want to. But some of them look away. But most of them look and you know you want to look. There is no absolution afterward, no way to pull the wretched from Self, the holy engine of the heart flapping against its own want. But that thing in the middle is there and it is begging to be seen. It wants to live, but. And the rest of them want to live but that’s what sickness is, a flight of black birds. A ritual. It’s the body making no sense, it’s godblood. And when it says let me watch you let it. And the corrosion. And the corrosion. Spreading from the right to the left, pock-marked and deluded, baptismal in its take over. The heart is a claw and today it’s got a body, oh. It caught the thing, and the thing gave a fight. Soon the sun, but soon the night. Soon the sun, but then the night. It never stops. Except when it does and it is permanent. You look and you look but you can never see it.




Of scapula, of blood, of the holy ghost—and stand, and kneel, and stand, and kneel.


We pool in terror; nel nome del padre, del figlio e dello spirito santo, we pool into ourselves, body of bodies, bodies of god.


I find it hard to believe in anything; I shade, I am the shadow, and I am haunted by gardens of roses in dim light. I am a prayer to be made whole.


Of rosary and font, of the holy ghost—and stand, and weep, and stand, and weep


We are a family of bloom and addio, bloom and addio


My love, have I killed you.


I am painted into the night,

I was given the cell of death,

I am at odds with versions of myself.


I fear I will kill everyone who stands next to me.


I will undo their names.


I will horror, I will hell them, I am prophet.


I am built of bad bodies, of bodies bad and built for blood.


Lisa Marie Basile is an editor, writer and poet living in NYC. She is the founding editor-in-chief of Luna Luna Magazine and the author of APOCRYPHAL (Noctuary Press, 2014), as well as a few chapbooks: Andalucia (Poetry Society of New York), War/Lock (Hyacinth Girl Press), and Triste (Dancing Girl Press). Her book NYMPHOLEPSY (co-authored with poet Alyssa Morhardt-Goldstein), was a finalist in the 2017 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards. You can find her books on Amazon & Small Press Distribution. Her poetry and other work can be or will be seen in PANK, Spork, The Atlas Review, Tarpaulin Sky, the Tin House blog, The Huffington Post, The Rumpus, Rogue Agent, Moonsick Magazine, Best American Poetry, Spoon River Poetry Review, PEN American Center and the Ampersand Review, among others.

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