Christopher Stolle’s writing has appeared most recently in Tipton Poetry Journal, Flying Island, Edify Fiction, Contour, The New Southern Fugitives, The Gambler, Gravel, The Light Ekphrastic, Sheepshead Review, and Plath Poetry Project. He works as an acquisitions and development editor for Penguin Random House, and he lives in Richmond, Indiana.


Trigger Warning

Dark angels ascend from Dante’s seventh circle—
manics who composed their anguish
before resolutely taking their lives—
toward floating celestial orbs ablaze

transforming into recognizable shapes
wingless birds, snowflake fingerprints,
blue graffiti smudges, bloodless wounds,
flowers so black they never pollinate

setting water afire with their gazes—
waiting for prey to marvel and investigate,
swooping down to push them closer
until they stumble at the precipices

and fall, fall, fall through silent portals,
becoming ensnared by Hell’s master

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