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Psaltery & Lyre

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Tyler Chadwick

Like a Prayer—

How the house sighed, air brim with old wood, paint, and coffee spilling from around the parlor‘s paired doors as I swung them closed, slowing before they smacked the jamb so not to rattle the jaundiced panes or disrupt the furniture we had force-fed the room—

You Cherubim

how your cerulean skin slides / across the eye, refreshes like the lid / tripped by light, sweat, wind, sex, / / or a speck of mythology settled / in the corneal bed

Uncertain Repast

God forget-me-not /
come replenish come wounded blood-let weary /
undone fallen /
trailing crimson promise

A Thing like Death

What was it Juliet said? Not nomenclature of rose / or Romeo. Not to Lawrence about lurking beneath / serpents’ skin or lying with dead men’s bones. Not / to the vial about this conceit of death and night, / / receptacle of flesh and memory. But in the tomb, / after she had bent to plant one on her husband’s corpse, / to divert his rigor into the troubled pool of her flesh

When You Kiss Me

I’m a mourning dove praising the sting of /
a thousand little deaths— I’m dawn slipping /
beneath the sandman’s sheets— I’m a backlit /
peak— I’m a dandelion giving props /

to the sun

No Botticelli, This—

No ginger virgin, hands modest to sex and breast, / flesh fallow, fecund as sky gone to seed in the sea . . .

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