A Prayer for the Surviving

by Marisca Pichette in Issue Nine, June 2023

The atmosphere is breaking.

A puddle stands in the
middle of the street, reflecting
all our cracked
and rotting dreams.

Two bubbles, slick and oily.

Two men watch
         One building folds in on itself
         a collapsing ampersand,
         frog base

Its last breath is red brick dust.

Grey suit One. Yellow tie Two.
Both are balding, both are giving up.
between their feet, the road cracks
and flakes away
a cheap manicure
(an expensive earthquake).

First street    Empty
Favorite dies in a pile of onion skins.
We all peel
         away from ourselves
in oil
and tears.

Yesterday the clouds were in the sky.
         Today he’s on the ground, collecting
         the pieces of a pair of broken

Chips break
skin, but she scratched
out the corners of his lungs
A puddle of cooling machine oil accepts
his blood.

Rogue brick escapes the tangles
of his tumbling house,
catches a man in the

Fragile globe shatters, spewing grey across a fallen sky.
One bubble remains.

© 2023 Marisca Pichette

Marisca Pichette

Marisca Pichette is a queer author based in Massachusetts, on Pocumtuck and Abenaki land. Find more of her work in Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fantasy Magazine, and others. Her Bram Stoker and Elgin Award-nominated poetry collection, Rivers in Your Skin, Sirens in Your Hair, is out now from Android Press. Find them on Twitter as @MariscaPichette, Instagram as @marisca_write, and Bluesky as @marisca.bsky.social.

Poetry by Marisca Pichette
  • And it dries and dries
  • A Prayer for the Surviving
  • You must wear your rue with a difference