top of page
White Pines.jpg

Let the Heavens Sever

by Benjamin Bellas

I get so fucking high off the fragrance of a southern slash pine surviving a swamp on
fire. I lie expectantly, like a junior-high featherweight wrestling for the first time. I leave my
body prone. I am a devout slab of trash-piled mountain awaiting my rapture in the form
of a fully stuffed oracle. Fill me. I am a virgin from an old-time religion lustfully begging
for the bliss of my own sacrifice. Marry me off as I slump in devotion. I’ve been saving
myself for the bedroom games of this sacred perfume, where serotinous cones burn, bake
& erotically asphyxiate my brain chemistry, render me mute in the face of a symphony
written in the key of serotonin minor. Have you ever noticed the sweet ballad a breeze
only releases when it is broken by an orchestration of conifer needles? It is a breathy call.
A beckoning. The chorus sings, “Stay, watch me phantom.” This is how I know God created
the pine stands of southern Florida for swallowing secrets, a terrain built explicitly for
treasures to disappear. A black box where a python constricts the last bit of lung inside
a wood stork, like working the air mattress flat after the last weekend guest is dispatched
with. Vanishing is the language we assign to the act of sliding beyond the drawstring rim
of a muscled-bag of patterned scales. Processed, transformed, deposited back on the land
as fertilizer & solid raw form– natural material given birth to. Bones blessed with their
first clear sight of cyan sky. The slash pine convert the newborn into tangible reinventions
of railroad ties, & pulp, & timber, & fuel. “Stay watch me phantom.” When dimensional
lumber is delivered to craft the skeletons of conservatively designed offices, or kitchens
in churches beyond the horizon in every direction, it is only fitting, for even Christians
fetishize resurrection, & oblivion. My children, when my last hymn escapes me, beyond
the gown, beyond the gurney, I intend to be a slow almost imperceptible fade. After
all, armageddon is nothing if not the simultaneous culmination & termination of the
religion one believes in.

IMG_9464 (1).jpeg

Benjamin Bellas currently lives in Miami, FL. His works are forthcoming or have been published in The Bellingham Review, Hunger Mountain, Jet Fuel Review, The Broadkill Review, The Pinch, FIVES, and Qu Literary Magazine among others.

bottom of page