Suppose I start a cult. Suppose I bet a son.
Suppose where the world ends my body begins,
Wombed away, waiting while Mother witches drug runs,
Eats the young like her scabs, and jabs pins into dead skin.
Suppose I steal the party; razors and remotes of men,
Self-portraits and pets, parents’ diseases of origin,
Grandma’s Britannica’s of addiction, next quarter’s organs.
Suppose the cult cuts a deal, buys stock in the sun.
Suppose the sun says, “God’s a zombie, swarm of rot to mend.”
Suppose Grandma rises from the dead for prescriptions. The party begins,
Where I teach men to shave, sewing a leader, I steal their skins,
Short the sun, deal dregs, and shoot the sons. Suppose I run
Away. Suppose the cops are called, and the cult’s coffers of catamites run
Old, and Mother must madness her children into checks,
Families into farms, fallow flesh, and sow sick into skin.
Suppose I bring the world to the party, set her up with the sun,
Watch from across the room as they eat each other old into beginning.
Then I guess Valerie Solanas was on to something: let’s kill all men.
Suppose I hunt myself shaving in the mirror making meat from what man’s
Still hung like a trophy inside. Suppose the cult begins running
Ads on the afterlife every Sunday, side-effects beginning
With birth, thorns, theories of genocide, fleeting feelings of original
Sin, slight to severe exodus, and the death of a first son.
Suppose I buy-in, believe enough to know suicide sells me skinny,
Buys Grandma another body, convinces the cult, skins
The party down to its puke: a house where murder is to men
As mother is to son
As cult is to a church, as running
From the man kenneled inside me is a party, originally
Another weekend out of my life that begins
Pill bottle-planchettes, because I read that every good sacrifice begins
With a virgin. Suppose I start a cult, remember to shut the skin
On the way out, am assassinated at the party. Then what origin
Cult, convert, castrate back to his son.
“Sestina with Cults as a Wikihow with Pictures” by Adric Tenuta is the Poetry Winner in Columbia Journal’s 2019 Spring Contest, judged by Tommy Pico.