Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2015  v14n1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Foregone Psalm

Prayer chimes muted any chords
that might have siphoned light

from the clouds. We heard snow
in a field. The absence of headstones

made it more the cemetery,
the wind’s silence even more

a howling causeway to an afterlife. 
Wings are the refuge of a sinner,

is how you read the ice
night gasped onto our windowpanes.

You slit every pillow for the down
to build the cathedral

in which you’d renounce forgiveness.
You said you heard angels

roiling up and down the cloisters
of the song I stopped singing,

its chorus dark with witching
hour and bell toll. Come spring,

leaves will bloom the colors
they fall, then fall. Somewhere

under my tongue, you said,
a woman touches her knees to stone,

her belly swollen with a world
so doomed the god she prays to

envies her for it. Somewhere
under yours is an altar on which

we blessed all he cursed.  end  

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