Lana Bella



Sometimes a single boat turns
to hush, when the thundering sea
lurches from daring to dread,
like a lone muezzin’s contralto
intoning at solitary closed vowels.
Mnemonic, disembodied inside
the sky between foreground
and background, where miasma
would have sped sepia through,
the naked moon orbits silent inside
the womb of shadows, pulls along
the propellers of earth’s plane,
conical licks brightened the nuclear
sanctum by mirrored stars.


© Lana Bella





The ballad winter poured hard thunder
through the slats, Stroh rum pulled in
the gut, atrophy crowed black on her
heart without weight. Whispers of frost
knurled blue-skulled, darkness strewed
seraph tongues over the pale of her back,
like dusk skating on still water. Now she
plated a meal in the house of volley-stones,
tofu atomized with fondue heat, Cha-ohm*
minnow flicked scales to her teeth, down
the throat wild tumbler swilled, dim études
scratched and scratched in analogue feed.


*Cha-ohm: a tropical member of the acacia family, native to mainland Southeast Asia, is a well-loved herb among Thais, Cambodians and Laotians. The most common way cha-om is cooked is with beaten eggs, or fried fish.


© Lana Bella




this land once held you back—
when you were wheat knead into
bread, cauldron held in stock of
flame and winter, goblet of Scotch
lurched down the pelican throat—
now, the sideways rippling fall,
the burning fields and feathering
swaths of hummingbirds that
sculled the air, are your fingertips
released of dirt over dispersal of
time, without reprieve, ballasts in
a manic and lonely thirst, the kind
with wide open door waiting to be
walked-in and lived through, sparse
as frayed-end threads of a tapestry—


© Lana Bella





Reduced to a plodding
crawl that went,
and went, nowhere,
he feasted on too many
skies and bled vellum
of ruddy dye. Ghost-light
combed the cast-back
rain where fear clothed
in panic carapace,
foul drinks coaxed out
from pelican throat.
A hundred in the shade
and he thought of swamp
water, mud in hands,
mouth of sand, sweat rust
over dun-flank narrows.
Instead, he filled the abyss
to get closer to home,
gauzy abdomen clung to
wasps’ bites, gaze flatlined
out to cleft, pale woods,
blinded by ceremonies of
stars drummed well
into dusk’s latticework,
until stillness gave shape
to what felt through
moss, and tucked him
in like every hand cradled
that dish of ravine earth.


© Lana Bella





You drew the bow deeply,
darkly hungered, just as chaos
of molecules reverberating
through silk with embroidery
shears. Night gin breathed
down the slime-throated walls,
hours leeched to tongue like
a curse of horned devils; pale
pentagram of psychosis pills
infringed the brain’s receptors,
ached you agilely at the edge
of cigarillos smoke’s fine sheen.
So you imagined suffocation
was like disappearing through
water until you sank, keeping
your hands from stretching
through shadows, to all things
radiating into dark inside dark.


© Lana Bella