Nightmare Magazine

Dystopia Triptych banner ad



Said the Carrion to the Corvus

Recently, it’s been hard not to feel consumed by outside forces. There’s always someone coming to take something from you. The taxman, the debt collector, familial relations, whomever. This poem is for those who have given everything.


How much meat is left
for you to suckle from
these bones? You’ve left none
for the earthfeeders,
nor the flesh flies.
Not a single strand
of mammalian hair
for the tineid moths.

My bones are cracked
and the marrow has leaked
through your downturned beak
and become the black of you.

You are no rook. No roughneck
nor roundtail. No hint of crest. Your song hard,
and mean. You steal the sky
a lesser raven, but the bloodsweat
calls you back. It is the mandibles
that betray your name.

What left do I have to give?
I have no life, no kin,
no kith. Dentine turned ivory.
All that was separate,
the me from the soil,
has evaporated under your lust.
My ribcage now
the tusks of the earth.
Yet, still
you pick . . .
pick . . .
pick . . .
for a thing that is not there.

Woody Dismukes

Woody Dismukes is a Brazilian-American poet, author, and social advocate living in Jackson Heights, Queens. He is a 2018 Clarion West graduate and has taught at University Settlement’s Creative Center. He is the author of The Way the Cowries Fall, a poetry chapbook from the American Poetry Journal, and has had work featured in Lightspeed, FIYAH, Strange Horizons and elsewhere. You can find him on Twitter @WoodyDismukes or on his website