• Josh Pearce

Selected Poetry by Josh Pearce

Photo Source: PxHere

Beautiful Machines

What beautiful machines

we are

of eyeglass, iron blood & steel

ed mind & nervous

tics, carrying close

our pocket-sized dreams

in our

minute hands (which

behind faceglass, steel

spring driven, with

steady tickticks

slice eternity into

pocket-sized wedges)

these pinpoint imperfect

ions in our hands

(fizzfoaming in the glass

and the metal)

are Narcotic

"and from millions

of these bubbles

are all the beasts & baubles

of the universe made"

Flower of You

Ignoring both

the past, which is root

(in the loam of our


turning over in their

mass graves)

and the future,

which is fruit

(filled with vitreous

humor of our mothers)

I am drawn merely

to the flower of you

(as an insect is to now).


That was the day I was on

some very powerful colors

the day I looked down in my hands

and beheld

the apocalypse in the black-

blue of a beetle's shell

dark and deep as the end of days.

That was the day I was

on the colors

screaming green and blue

streaks, seeing things

that I had never seen before

like bitter lemon,


and icterine.

That was when I was on very

strong flowers, looking

at how pure energies

refracted off of them in names

like smalt

or pomp and power

until the sun went down

and I shivered under the stars

at my own particular

frequency of cobalt

surrounded by colors

like phlox, ao,

and phthalo blue,

the very colors out of space.

That was the day

I was on some very high poetry,

trying to tell you what I saw

and everyone else didn't,

formicating fire-ant red

and bottlefly green as

I came down.

That was the day I was

translating you into

some very powerful colors:

the cyanide blue of your lips,

coal kohl lines that a cafe artist

would use in place of your eyes,

the shades of your skin

between almond and plum,

your mind in heliotrope,

words in burnt umber

and a smile in simple white:

things I had never seen before

and everyone else hadn't, either.

With the lights out, the colors

went away

and I kept my hands

at my sides

afraid that you were still there.

Mare Humorum

pluck a plum as plump

as a stormcloud

your mouth waters with

electric fruit flesh.

after the drought desert

i'm for the crater of your lips

poking with spongetongue drinking

the openings that feed

your sea of moisture

into the ocean of storms.

pick a white peach the

size of the moon

dust fuzzed dry surface but who

can count what waters move just below the skin?

wring me of all my sweat and drain the ache in my pit

with the flesh of your fruit.

electric tingle of approaching rain.

nothing can grow on a dry planet

our radio telescopes

probe the universe

for the electric signal

presence of water.

i'm slowly witching every

inch of your body.

grab the dowsing rod in both hands

and point it straight at the

source of all life.

Mare Marginis

like solar wind peeling away layers

of exo, thermo, meso,

strato, troposphere

stripping you down, diagramming

our sentences

what are we saying to each other?

an exclamation of a comet, its

upright uncommon coma

bracketed by two weeks

of crescent moon parentheses

and the regular

interruption of commas

hitching your breath like pulsar flare

whenever the pleasure signal moves through you

asteroid full stop.

the big question mark of

deep space,

event horizons beyond

which there are no answers

(em-dash stretching time asking may i ‽

before i enter)

astronaut footprints

and rover tracks

(my fingerprints on your thighs

and red rasp of stubble burn

from c*nt to neck

where the glottal rattle

of the universe's background static

hisses in the hollow of your throat)

scrawling marginalia

in a manuscript

of a story older than time

between the opening big bang

and the closing

little heat death.

Josh Pearce has been published in Analog, Asimov's, and Nature magazine. You can find his site here and his Twitter at @fictionaljosh