Hell is just a tepid pool of mildly haunted blood so I guess it’s up to me to roast this bitch*
by LE Francis, 31st October 2022

Julia, you skinless slut, you know exactly

how this is going to go, you’ll suck his face

& fill the lines around his mouth with mucous

& blood & he’ll open his neat-pressed slacks

& every flaccid disappointment will pour out,

smelling of old piss & moth balls. Are you

so deprived of mortifying sex & deco bedposts

in the lake of fire? How do you claw your way

out of hell through a gore soaked mattress

& simply settle for the first old bastard

who stares at you like he’s got a new tube

of polident & he’s willing to take a risk

on an overripe candy apple? You’ll push

aside his disused NordicTrack & peel back

inches of humanity to rebuild your life, never able

to retrieve any fragment of the love you lost,

& all under the yellow-rimmed eye of yet another

tweed-jacket nerd who dead-ass decorates

his office with a portrait of Crowley? There are

greater things in heaven & earth & you sensed

that once & you needed more than a conversation

about stock options & spending all day thinking

about the vibrator hidden in your sock drawer

& yet your bold moves seem to take you right back

where you started – the professor’s flapping gums,

depilling sweaters & starching collars in cheap heels

while fantasizing about a brother or cousin or anyone

who could actually get you there – somewhere else

connected to the universe that keeps shrugging

you into oblivion because, bitch, you never learn.

* this poem is inspired by Hellraiser II (1988)