page contents

The Taste of Kerosene
Aaron Wiegert

Originally published April 15, 2012. 

A warm breeze fills the empty monastery
As a dull bell lulls the prayer wheel to sleep.
Red robed monks descend the mountain
Through a bullet’s swallowed silence.
Hundreds of stairs leave the holy men
With smiles that consume eyes and foreheads.

A merchant bags pears and apples
While soldiers finger shouldered guns.
The monks pool their coins and bow
To the merchant, sipping from their purchase
They wade in the shadow of a fountain.
No one minds the taste of kerosene.

Soldiers watch as matches are swallowed
The flames shudder, their robes devoured
As smoke fills the cherry blossoms
Rising towards the mountain.

Aaron Wiegert is the Poetry Editor of Drunk Monkeys. He has penned two chapbooks, Evil Queen (2013) and The Last Railroad Spike (2016), both from Budget Press.