Marie Scarles: Are We the Lost Bodies or Behind the Gun?

Marie Scarles: Are We the Lost Bodies or Behind the Gun?
Mario Azzi

Mario Azzi



At the center of the sun is a muzzle

a gullet that devours.


I’m flying west for a week in the desert.

The Milky Way is a band of people


blooming over arched red rocks.

My only goal is to stand beneath the stars


& know them for what they are (all of it, old
news, a hole, blank at the center).


At the center of the gun is a muzzle

a gullet that devours.


During turbulence, the screen

flickers out, then returns a killer:


dark eyes like mine, lashes like my brother’s.

Are we the lost bodies or behind the gun?


Hello, my love. My life is over, ending

under club lights. On Saturn’s rings,

a child skates, blades slicing dust and ice.

Look up, all along the ridges of the moon

people dive deep into the craters, the planets swing
around the center like a skirt, twirling in slow-motion.

I shuttle into the night and its language,
knowing I have no choice but to be held here


in this city formed from clouds: temples,
churches, steeples, skyscrapers. It is cold,


but I can’t feel it. It seems impossible

to be numb—how one hatred

could metastasize, could eat alive, impossible
to consider what you’d kill within yourself when


within you is a sameness, a love, a wave.

I have flown out west to find out


what we are. Lovely & delicate & so unlike
the stones the earth is carved from. 

When we hike the terrain, the sky watches over us
peacefully, though it would have even if

we ran out of water or food or our skin burnt.

I love this solitude: necessary, dangerous & yet

require my companions, the water bottle passed
back & forth. At my center is a desert and a stone

and this bone-bright sky. 

Marie Scarles is a writer and editor at Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, a nonprofit magazine based in NYC. Her first chapbook of poems, Joy Machine, will be published in April 2018. Tweet with her @mscarles.