Pairs of hands grasp hands, mercy pulls into homestretch hesitation.
Our angels adjure us to flee annihilation, waiting our word.
The wind carries the shrieks and the stench of rotten eggs,
seeing fire sheets zigzag from heaven to the hell of burning flesh.
I feel my body crystallize into a burnished tomb,
window eyes being the last thing mirrored in horror.
Mind Lot’s wife.
still dead eyes in the back of your head
to the sulfur-soaked paper rag plain pillars.
Zombie salt figure statue
exhuming His remainders
into the mountains of culture,
melting the turbid icy snow pack.
Reanimating wadi water-washed hearts.
five beams search shoreline
light on the hooded sweatshirt
whispering her prayers
plantation owners hunt slaves
whispering prayers in kettles
two stacks of feathers
seagulls nitpicking struggle
no victories here
Redacting army steals the language.
Spirit grinds wheat words into form,
distills the boastful syntax
from thousands to hundreds,
the inner critic.
Desk lamp and radio
turn adjectives and adverbs
against each other and erase
the opposition of the blank page.
of the housing jungle,
the cookie-cutter houses,
high voltage olive
dot the landscape,
the world of creeping ants, spiders, worms,
in the autumn grass.
for a life growing
from the loam
Previously published in the Missouri State Poetry Society’s Grist 2007 Anthology.