by Renée Nicole Macklin
i want back my rocking chairs,
& coastal jungle sounds that are tercets from cicadas and pentameter from the hairy legs of
i’ve donated bibles to thrift stores
(mashed them in plastic trash bags with an acidic himalayan salt lamp—
the post-baptism bibles, the ones plucked from street corners from the meaty hands of zealots, the
dumbed-down, easy-to-read, parasitic kind):
remember more the slick rubber smell of high gloss biology textbook pictures; they burned the hairs
inside my nostrils,
& salt & ink that rubbed off on my palms.
under clippings of the moon at two forty five AM I study&repeat
at the IHOP on the corner of powers and stetson hills—
i repeated & scribbled until it picked its way & stagnated somewhere i can’t point to anymore, maybe
maybe there in-between my pancreas & large intestine is the piddly brook of my soul.
it’s the ruler by which i reduce all things now; hard-edged & splintering from knowledge that
used to sit, a cloth against fevered forehead.
can i let them both be? this fickle faith and this college science that heckles from the back of the
now i can’t believe—
that the bible and qur’an and bhagavad gita are sliding long hairs behind my ear like mom
used to & exhaling from their mouths “make room for wonder”—
all my understanding dribbles down the chin onto the chest & is summarized as:
life is merely
to ovum and sperm
and where those two meet
and how often and how well
and what dies there.