Psaltery & Lyre

Two Poems

The Esnoga— see time’s horses / slipping down / YOUR holy walls / / her 400 year-old bricks / and glass / Sabbath’s opaque light

The Clown

You stand next to a clown, a real clown, with the painted white face and spongy red wig. He has pulled you to the front of the room, where he speaks rapid Spanish that you cannot understand. Everyone else in the room—including the Peruvian family you’ve been teaching—understands what he is saying, and laughs. All you’ve picked out is the word “Mormon.” What you understand: You are the butt of the joke. No, you are the joke.

onion skin

I would give up God for this poem. No more prayers, no more hymns, no more white lilies on my granny’s grave.

Two Poems

How does one leave                a home?

Paper Birch

The paper birch unscrolls sheaf / after sheaf through long wintry /       afternoons. The snow speaks glitter / / and patience.


she stands by the wall, watching, like a doe / at the edge of a meadow, deciding, deciding—

First Mother

Having birthed, my womb is still / full of creatures. My first son / names them and names them, and calls / forth another with each new naming.

Letter to God

Sometimes, I think you put the demon inside / my esophagus so you’d have something to watch.


I was born with aggressive toes / turning mother’s face / clockwise / early morning, alarm, alarm / nothing good / happens before dawn

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