Room #82

A figure laid to rest with symbols
Altar collapsing wax — no longer shaped like altar
invokes wet passages invoking moss
For those that doubt the existence of green
underground, I’ve witnessed the emeralds
in roots and longed costume jewelry, for acquittal
In the confessional booth, a priestess feeds me a fever dream
Hen of the woods, black trumpets, indigo milk caps
Never trust a veiled woman


Room # 120

A grave within the walls, the supreme
I stack bones on bones on ivories on creams
Pretend they’re still warm
I absorb their histories, a quickening of hearts
visited in the void, a reversal to coax them
into their silence loops
The vanishing point of two walls of skulls
coordinates a sublime geometry that keeps me going
Above, a procession of black horses, a storming


Room #720

A black train cloaked in black lingerie, I’m delivered
a dish, cerebral, deletion (so release)
I go tart in a corsage
Forget the actual river while in it, a glitch
Forget that I’m living — good
All I ever wanted was to stay in bed
All is a shitty simulacra of bed
except for bread which comes pretty close
Soft boiled and nonviolent in the melt


Room #605

What looks like air, isn’t, it’s just one water
stacked on another water — what a lark
moving through water that looks like air
I fish with a silk line, made by my spit
Catch the worst white creatures, they even bleed white
They used to have eyes and now they want mine
It takes thousands of generations for a species’ eyes to be lost
I’m quick to adapt, annihilate my eyes to glass
The cell death of a lens in the dark


Room #405

A crane collapses in the foreground, a fallout
cues the paranoia loop forever under the ticker
in neoclassical temple
Here numbers are a thickener, a swimmable atmosphere
A sludge nearly a mile long seeks a steel vault as
algorithms communicate with broker stations
I am viscous, I am liquid, I am honey
Even very glass­eyed, I know how to make money
the American way


Christine-BettisChristine Bettis was born in Detroit. She writes and lives in Las Vegas where she is pursuing her MFA in Poetry at UNLV. Her chapbook Burnout Paradise (Horse Less Press) will be released in 2016.