Kevin Heaton




Agony grips each nerve ending
in tentacled, pulsating

entanglements; a sordid monster
rapped taffy pull of muscular

constriction and expansion.
The fetid uninhibited abscess

rapt in a “Devil’s Dance” of impish
delight serenaded by choiring

demons recitals of Voodoo
incantations. Despondency

and repentance inherit the pink
immaculate seed of torment

forgiven through the blessed
holy conversion into a bountiful

harvest of peaceful incoherence.


The abscess lay hidden, dormant
behind a curtain of sinew and muscle

patiently awaiting the chosen
hour now come: rupturing, revealing

itself as a poisonous phantom,
teeth honed for the occasion.

A river of red and yellow awful
issues from the core of my being

cascading through bowels and down
both legs unchecked, turning ankles

and feet into purple deformities.
Soothing waves of Oxycontin hold

the ravenous monster at bay,
only to release him more cruel

and determined; my entire body gripped
by excruciating agony, the great

destroyer having his way, defiling
an unguarded temple. At last, urgent

angels of war answer desperate,
incoherent pleas. Ravaged and spent,

I lapse into merciful sleep.

Kevin Heaton currently lives in South Carolina, formerly from Oklahoma where he published Country Music. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in: Foliate Oak, Elimae, Grey Sparrow Journal, Little Balkans Review, Kansas Poems, Nerve Cowboy, Pembroke Magazine, and others. His interests are scuba, distance running, and being a grandfather.

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