Liz Marlow

The Life Cycle of Deceit
by Liz Marlow

The adoration he declares is
like an adult mayfly. His mouth,
vestigial, releases air, and I
swallow it all. Of course,
his reveal is at dusk,
when diurnals lie
on couches or nests
and nocturnals tuck
sheets into hospital
corners to spread their wings.
But his devotion will never
live long enough to know
if it is nocturnal or diurnal.
It lives only to dance
for a few hours until another
lover comes along. Someone
else observes his affection,
attempts to mimic it
like a hooked fly from a tackle box,
but grace is lost in reproduction.
He drops words like eggs
into a lake. They stick
to the muddy shore, nymphs
ready to erupt from shells
after resting for a couple of years.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 21, Issue 4.

Liz MarlowLiz Marlow’s debut chapbook, They Become Stars, was the winner of the 2019 Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Contest and is forthcoming in 2020. Her poems have appeared in The Bitter Oleander, B O D Y, The Greensboro Review, The Rumpus, Tikkun, and elsewhere.

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