Red Lantern Jesus

Trees with bulbous flowers in a face of stone, like Chinese paper lanterns. Red, translucent eyes in a blind jungle. Vines over the water, their whispers among each other. The birds in this humid forest, in the eyes and mouth of that great stone head, songs an echo in an empty space.

The march and march and march of boots through sludge, slick mud. And the sun, too bright, on a hundred dollar bill some sucker like me — a flash, glint, BOOM! A man-made earthquake in this jungle temple. A volley of fire. And I, on the ground, just pieces in front of the stone head of Jesus with red lantern flowers for eyes.

Inspired by “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien.


Credit: “Seven Hours” by Mira Nedyalkova

Belladonna is beautiful except when it taints your blood and makes you a monster in your own skin. And I am a monster. Every teardrop and tear in this fragile heart feeds the poison. Builds it. And it pulls everyone apart.

But me, I don’t want to be like this. I used to think I was a pacifist or an activist but this is neither. This is Eris, goddess of discord, throwing the golden apple. This is beautiful belladonna, poisonous to the touch and I, I don’t want this. But my blood burns and I watch the world burn with it because it’s just something to do.