Slow Opal – Ariel Kusby

ravens and their rituals            

                           replaced decaying things

the last black plums          provoked into stone

        only a raw seed remained

                                            cradled under my tongue


skeleton softened into bloom            petal drunk

         with a green question between my teeth

the unavailable garden

                          filling up with faces   


         small fire petrified in my breast

slow opal               growing rough in my sacrum

under the unbearable weight of wings


call me chanting       cadaverine flower  


                carrying pulse into the webbed dark

asking the animal question





Ariel Kusby is a poet, journalist, and bookseller based in Portland, Oregon. Her writing has previously appeared in Entropy, Bone Bouquet, Pith, Hunger Mountain, and Luna Luna Magazine, amongst others. To read more of her work please visit 


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