Mausoleum Poems

by Lisa Marie Basile



I won’t know how to be in this body

                        tomorrow. There are nothing but tulips

and they speak my dialect. I want to stay with them, or stay with a semblance

of them.            Even if it’s a lie.                       

It’s the lie of a thing I’m after.

            A petal, a pew. A tomb. The flora, a manipulation of time.

I can’t make anything stay,          but this.

I won’t know how to move through the light

without the necro. I am the self at my own feet.






Come-thing, wrought and dripping.

            All the hair dripping. And wanting, a full white night lurks

at the window. While I cut fruit and cut up, and cut up.   

            My lover is in pieces. We never answer the door.






I want you to tell me why you are here.

Is it because you have died? Cunning.

I won’t give you water, or hymnal,

or another body. You take

everything from me, even the fauna.

You can decorate a body but it will

never be alive unless it is alive. I learned

that one; I made death a summer dress.

Swear on the garden you will be nice this time.

I don’t want to see you fake it. I don’t

want to see you at all. Stand in the trees

and be still beside them. Annunciate.

Say your prayers and sleep.

I will punish the lack. I will cloak it in

a grove of oaks. Let us wash

your body in the summer light, let us

wash you. I will be rough, I will show you. Don’t you

try and fuck me. I have no need

to be let, to be let out.


portraits (5).png


Lisa Marie Basile

Lisa Marie Basile is the founding editor-in- chief of Luna Luna Magazine. She is the author of Apocryphal (Noctuary Press, 2014). Her book NYMPHOLEPSY was a finalist for the 2017 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. Her work can be found in PANK, Sporklet, Tarpaulin Sky, Best American Poetry, PEN American Center, The Atlas Review, Berfrois, The Rumpus, and the Ampersand Review, among others. She has taught and/or spoken at Columbia University, New York University and Emerson College. Lisa Marie Basile holds an MFA from The New School.