Chemin de Fleurs

Written by Ari Chattoo
Art by Maria Orlova

my heart walks the flower path,
singing as it goes,
a cherished song of love and longing,
in a world where there lives no woes.
across the ocean i sit and mourn,
crying near the window pane,
for my heart was torn from its vessel,
and it no longer answers to my name.
in its stead i lay music notes,
forged crescendos in my head,
in between lamenting lyrics,
there i make my bed.
i dream that one day soon
my heart will walk this lovely flower path,
humming a tune we both know.


Death, Donne & Desire.

Written by Ari Chattoo
Art by MiracleKilly

Death, i am not proud
i beseech you as a friend.
spare my last futile breaths for my love.
their lips,
my sole sweet salvation.
my lips,
stained by the sour sickness of selfish reclaim.

Death. My faithful friend
have i told you
that lately, i’ve been wasting my youth on summer love?
endless nights dwindled,
hours of mine stolen by the limbs of a lovely Venus.
their siren shore the warmest heaven i’ve ever known,
my redemption stalled at their feet.

Death, will you tell me,
does my worship count if it is paid at a lambasted altar?
a fair, angel-winged purity-shaped Lover,
this companionless compatriot i’ve held out my arms for.
bear witness to my testimony,
please take me as i am.
for i will only go gentle into the night at their intimate request.

fatal compulsion.

Written by Ari Chattoo
Art by Nataliya Vaitkevich

does your mother know we taint each other like bloodstains?
mine doesn’t.
the prime curator of my life and blood
and she doesn’t even know i bide my time digging my grave in your flesh
all while you use your bones to carve your name into my skin like;
we own each other like;
i love—

does your father know you live in my body like a disease?
slow-cooked, sensual,
murder between lovers
half heat-baked in this heavenly summer of youth.
does he know we’re killing each other?
we’re too sharp-tongued to keep secrets,
but it’s utterly glorious to keep you so selfishly hidden away,
should i say i love y—

do you miss me?
when i’m standing in front of you with my heart pulsating in my hands,
chest cavity ripped open and arteries oozing,
life fading fast from my dwindling gaze
is it enough that we survive best when we’re feeding on each other?
snuffing out our childhood fantasy with beautiful gore
is it enough that i love yo—


Written by Ari Chattoo
Art by Lukas Rychvalsky

brass knuckles and bruised cheeks,
how many secrets can we keep?
oh juliette, juliette, wherefore art thou juliette?
sneering in the shadows with the rest of us gutter rats she reigns,
odorous aura of cigarettes and roses, strawberries and poison.
“down the rabbit hole you go, little one”
she says each time i fall into her sticky-sweet honey trap
no one will ever have what we have.
oh juliette, fair juliette, would you kill for the one you love?
yes, she says, today, tomorrow and forevermore.

hello demons

Written by Ari Chattoo
Art by Irina Anastasiu

how does one greet the things that go bump in the night?
easily, with fingers crossed behind one’s back and an undeniable death wish.
lucky is the man that lives to tell the tale,
luckier is the man that is blessed a kiss of quick death.

oh, our mother of nature, dearest mother of mercy,
do you think you could spare their ill-omened, anguished souls?

Malevolence breeds within the hearts of such men–
most of whom poke and prod and plunder,
overtaking the earth with colonial delight.
never shall they grow cogent enough to cause plight.
how sweet and satisfying, the way they die without fight.

dear moon

Written by Ari Chattoo
Art by NASA

dear moon,
how can it be?
yesterday, i told my best friend that i was no longer in love with you.
this morning,
you texted me a picture of the sunrise and i found,
my heart still beats in your chest and,
i crave you something vicious in my gums
how naive is the fool who
is so easily spun in your orbit.

dear moon,
i wish we never parted on such good terms.
i wish i wouldn’t mourn for you in
the way stars lament darkness in morning light.
you, my stable solid satellite.
my beautiful, ruinous, graceful thing.
my true love, my first love.
someday soon i will touch your cratered cheek
and confess the callowness that i have hid in my heart.

dear moon,
my beloved, i hope you are doing well.
i hope you find a love as great as your own
in every tree, every ocean, every star.
i hope your heart remains soft and your garden flourishes.
i hope your voice stays honey-sweet, your skin luminous.
may you find art in the quiet moments
and melodies in the belly of a roaring crowd.
may your joy linger on longer than my love can.