The words of defeated king admetus came as a whisper in the mountain: “I have this dream. Where I’m holding his neck to the red. brick. wall. And I tell him -- and he’s crying — that I hallucinated spiders for ten years. I tried to name them, but the earth was not their mother anymore. So I placed them in the trough out in the yard and watched the horses pretend to eat them. And when the big tongues lapped them, all of them. All of them. When every last arachnid had reduced in my vision, then only then. Then only then. Then only then the sun” — and he weeps: Apollo... “Once I was known as the virgin king. Once ONCE (fury & I one body inhibit). Once I was known as the virgin king and I blushed at the lifting of a head. Once I had not been fucked and I was kinder to strangers. Once I had a whole life like an afternoon: drinkable, aureate, and a handsome demigod farmboy musing over my weeds, yes, I said, yes, he said, oh and there and and! yes, he made me promises across the hillside with the lines he carved in wheat. My yesterday and yesterday turned once and future in his hands: you cannot remember what it was like to be loved. Maybe you weren’t. Maybe you never. But Pompeii spots Vesuvius over its shoulder — devil, there, happy to die, I saw YOU. Heatwave, decimation, I swear to god one day i’ll look at it, I wish my lover was anything but the sun.
anthony bourdain in beirut
In the nightclub, I saw a girl take a breath. And the airport turned into a ball of fire. And she stepped forward. And I stepped forward. And the godlessness between our many-splendored denominations took the next breath in the room.
THIS IS NOT IT at all (fuck) this was not what I meant to say at all. this phoenix city, smoldering with jet fuel, bombs blowing out like ebony-smoked suns over the hillside, I was born to love you. I was sent here to love you. I was supposed to love you but as these things go, now we will see each other destroyed. If there were the right surgery, I’d hire the best city doctor to cut all the bitterness out of your heart and sew it into mine. The best city doctor. best that money could rouse. And you would eat shawarma and drink arak under the ineffably blue sky, And jaded I would mutter into bottles my hundred unutterable doubts.
-- Savannah McClendon is a food writer and emerging non-food poet, based in Weehawken, NJ. They graduated from Fordham University in 2021 as the recipient of the Mary Higgins Clark award for creative writing. They are thrilled to share their publishing debut in this issue with Jet Fuel Review.