"what are you placing on your empty altar?" by Ariel Clark-Semyck

Updated: Oct 24, 2021


the stars have it out for you this week. spend six days & six nights polishing the Engineer’s pipework. wake up on the sabbath to the Engineer’s lover in your bed, holding a wrench to your breast. you’re sick of aftermath & cleaning up sad pussycat vomit. its sourness lodges itself in the thick-woven fibers of your air pocket. you light a candle for the smell, for the singeing of your fingerprints, for the feverish gleam of this re-run. the abyss is keeping vigil with you on the sofa as you screech & watch seven other women on sofas screech. cheer up, the abyss says. your heartbeat is an echo in a cornfield, sustaining itself kernel by kernel. your heartbeat would like to lie naked on a bearskin rug. you get another ding from the stars & hope it’s a Director this time. would you like to play the tempest in a new production of the tempest? you’ll need to brush up on your ugliness. you just might.


Ariel Clark-Semyck is a poet from Chicago. Her poems have been published in Flypaper Lit, Heavy Feather Review, Grimoire Magazine, Witch Craft Magazine, Yes Poetry, and elsewhere. You can find her scuttling around on Instagram and Twitter: @mousecadet.

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