“Chemical Emigration” by Greg Bayles

chemical emigration

Chemical Emigration

by Greg Bayles

Sacred tablets, broken as host
over sinless tongues. We dissolve like
powder on mucosal membranes, bitterness
washed down with mangoed sweetness.
Take my tithes, alimony for the child
I leave behind in these experiments
in closeness.

Melt into the careless ocean, roll
into methylated gentleness, synthetic
tides of ecstasy washing over you.
Fireplace breathes onto naked
torso, its tempo flickering crimson
and amaranth inside us. Fiery tongues
plunging deep inside us: all else is water
and transience.

Here are children of euphoria, heathen
princes seeking new religion. Here
are perfumed linens and wintered
hilltops, mirrors in our pilgrim eyes.
Here are gods encapsulated.

The feline strobe blinks on, blasé,
only just unbowed like the rest of us
in jocks and harnesses and liquid
atmosphere. Outside the shower
she perches catlike, witnessing the timeless
rites of sugar scrub and tabloid hither-coming;
electric gaze holds scattered pearl drops
and slivered still-frames in the human air.

Here are bolt-grinders and coke
shovellers in a back room, feeding
the inferno lacking leather or
rubber to hide their skin. Sputtering
blood engines pumping virility into ready
chambers, pneumatic, gasping. Quench
the blade with fleck of sweat and
flood of dopamine.

We wake to morning shadow. Surely
I have left the fabled country of my youth
but for a world still rich in fictions.
I have traded all my truths for purer
fantasy. But what of matins
we awoke to, my skin on yours
on his? What of quiet breath and
words of whispered promise?
Was all our love ingested?

peculiar line

Greg Bayles is a project manager at the University of Utah’s Therapeutic Games and Apps Lab. He received a BA in English Literature from Brigham Young University and went on to complete a Master’s of Entertainment Arts and Engineering at the University of Utah. In his free time, Greg enjoys reading, making video games, cooking, wandering art galleries, and rock climbing.

Read our Q&A with Greg Bayles or order the latest copy of peculiar.

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