illustration by Brianna Castagnozzi

Manifesto of Pulled Bells
by Vanessa Jae

Barefoot on bare soil our skin soaked
in the poison they poured onto our
home to drown our kind.
They watched us perish in the badlands,
sank their teeth into their lips,
craving the sweet taste of our decay.

Our roots simmering in their brew
of revulsion and greed,
they waited for our leaves to wilt,
our blossoms to turn the color
of their rotten mouths, unaware
their death potion was an elixir of life.

Burned land births resistance
and the acid mauling our roots
became our resurrection pit, ripped
flesh devouring its wisdom
until our wounds healed into golden scars,
glowing in the sunlight as we breached.

Delicate tendrils grew before we bloomed,
reaching into endless freedom and finding
kinship we thought destroyed, reaching
to wrap around the throats of those
who had laughed at the agony
they inflicted on our kind.

We injected their venom into their veins
devoid of the ichor needed to become gods.

Vanessa Jae (she/her) writes horrifically beautiful anarchies, reads stories for Apex Magazine and translates for Progressive International. She also collects black hoodies and bruises in mosh pits on Tuesday nights. To read tweets by interesting people follow her at @thevanessajae.