the lament of the man who burned alive

I cannot say that I am sane, though they will say I flamed in/sanity. To plan and pick a day to die, no guarantee of death. To find a wide expanse of green, soak your clothes in gasoline. To write a manifesto or no? A match or lighter? Walk along wide avenues, shuffle, look down, … More the lament of the man who burned alive


I wait for telephones to ring, books lie unopened in my lap. After all is said, and done, and wept, I doubt he will come back. My hands hold knives too tightly, cut the bread too slow. Apples rot and willows bend until they bend no more. Dark gum adheres to pavement, gutter muck and … More heartache

blood & oak

If my heart has hardened, there is no one else to blame. I have never been a woman unaccustomed to the shame and bitter rebuke of who loved me, every bitter word a hound that tore flesh from my bone and did not pause to heed the sound of other hunters heeling, watch and wait; … More blood & oak

silver song of toil

I was never brilliant, I was never bold; anything I ever touched has never turned to gold. Quiet toil daily, seed the soil old; silver is the next best thing for dull and shy, base souls. … © 2018 Anna-Christina Betekhtin, All Rights Reserved.


Choke the smallest kindness, scorch the frozen earth; do not give the foolish merchant what it is not worth. Bury all the letters, burn the soft old shirts. You will cling to anything that will become dark dirt. Nothing soft to stay and soothe, everything will be abused by time; so cheat it. Kill it … More ruin

a little city song

If this should come to naught and the nothing is a choice, all that mourns in grey grimed streets wrecked with wasted winds will voice the sorrow that careens full fleet through avenues too bright; mid-flight the pigeons swerve and bank, avoid the light. … © 2018 Anna-Christina Betekhtin, All Rights Reserved.

sleeves pulled thin

Coffee so hot it burns more than the throat, quiver and break and begin again more tremulous than ever. Sheathed wrists and sleeves pulled thin by uncut nails. Averted eyes and stale radiator hiss. Papercuts that break skin but do not draw blood, unwashed linen and too many dishes in the sink. Remember when you … More sleeves pulled thin

song of misery

Sing a song of misery, let the heart collapse. There is nothing left to mourn save what is crude and crass. Aching arms and blistered feet, bloody hands and raw, red meat; repeat the lies you once believed and give in to the bitter grief. … © 2017 Anna-Christina Betekhtin, All Rights Reserved.

swallow blood

*this poem in featured in “the nothing”, the previous post, but it was written before and published here before. I changed a few punctuation marks; here’s the definitive version.* ~acb … Swallow blood to staunch the grief. What bruises bulge beneath, soft flesh split, which veins spill sadness: it does not matter. Only someone must … More swallow blood