A digital image of a neon purple anatomical heart, behind black bars of a cage. The background is black.

Violent Delights

By Ivana Devcic
Content warning: NSFW

How curious it is that a controlled hit –

the essence of each touch between us –

unfettered, untethered, unchained,

could become ultra-violent.

Even in the deepest act of love – 

with its ferocious intimacy, 

and penetration to the soul –

bruises flower along necks and 

down spines, like dawn,

blooming in the sky

Hungry kisses, 

stolen with permitted force,

and intoxicating desire, 

always leave both parties 

chafed and scraped and skinned, 

licking each other’s wounds.

At the apex of this 

mortification of the flesh, 

the dual deities of being –

darkness and light, winter and spring,

pain and pleasure, death and life – 

ceremonially mate.

First, the zealot genuflects; then, 

ravages the sacred bread, 

so gently, so precisely.

Deftly, he throws wide his hands, 

moans in exaltation, for he is thirsty,

and his goddess is the river where

he would drown in rapture.

So taut he thrums, barely chained power 

escapes from him in slick sweat. 

He dives in, like Semele,

unknowingly awaits his obliteration 

in the presence of her divinity. 

His tongue laps up her chalice of blood 

with furious penitence, and yet, it never dries – 

it spills over, submerging the mortal 

in apocalyptic ichor, graciously given to him. 


Upon the altar,

with his final cry,

he impales his beloved

goddess –

a violent end.

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