By Anonymous 

I have followed a crooked line back

to her particular grace. The edges

of me untidy, tongue coarse as a burlap

sack. Hard. Learned prayers luscious

like rust, a pickup backseat fuck,

a husk of a tractor grill thick with smashed grasshoppers.

The more taboo things I do with my body

the less monstrous my body becomes soft

as the summer wheat scored through

by a highway back to where I was born.


We don’t get the saints we need: we dream

them into being the way the cleft of a valley

welcomes the river. So a girl

dreams a femme who would get down

on her knees for her, whose heart

was the naked prairie and then the fire again,

who could muster concern for women’s pain

and other earthly things.


For me, she peels back the screen door

to savour a moth, resting; to hear

how the wind hushes in the fields.

How the air sizzles and cracks

like an acetate song as the sky gathers itself

and crickets croon in the old mother’s tongue.


She turns words of her first language in my open mouth

And falls like lightning into the cup of this night.