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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Alyson Favilla

Echo Delay (Lesser Long-Nosed Bat)

The sun is roosting on the other side

of the world.


I am greedy scoops of air, sheer webbing

in a halo of sound.


My jaws open and the world tunnels out. Each

syllable strikes


a thimble of dark matter, which replies,

Here I am.


Even the stars have an odor.

The moon


is overripe, and each animal body

is curled in the outline


of its den. Terrain pulses with sleep.

My desert tree,


great armoire built of glances,

stiff hide of water.


I can hear her blooming. I can hear

her dreaming


of me, the bell of my body singing.

She is close,


she is wearing the sound of my voice.

Polyps of fruit


substantiated in the prism of my mouth.

I will seed the night with eyes.


I’ve swallowed a bowl

of air.

I’m washing my insides

with music.

I do this just for you:


with the mellow slap

of your feet.


I’m coaching

the tight-lipped flowers,

bellowing under

your window

a jukebox

of desperation

made entirely

of noise.


O, O lovely one,


I’m terrestrial now.

I’ve perfected

a thousand

swollen imitations

of the ripe and ever-

loving moon.

III: Worm Cosmology


Everything leaves a trail.



Worm crawled out of the nightsoaked

soil and burrowed through the unbroken sky.



Stars passed through worm like tender




Bright casings were fixed in the pattern

worm made.



Cradled by ballast, worm

was carried over a vault of black water.



Worm journeyed, open-mouthed, through the unfounded




Worm was piloted by desire.

Worm said, I am an inkling,



a diversion, the scrawl

of a closed fist traveling through the air.



I am without precedent, but

I am no dead end.



World was a bulb of blind matter

sleeping in the dirt.



Is it good? cried worm.

Let me taste it and see.


Alyson Favilla received an M.Phil in Irish Writing from Trinity College Dublin, and their work appears in several Irish and international publications, including diode, Poetry Ireland Review, and The Tangerine. They’re currently an MFA candidate and a Grisham Fellow in poetry at the University of Mississippi. Their favorite Mississippi mammal is the spotted skunk.

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