by Emily Skaja
Anyone can be a plank-mouthed bird or anyone can be the sky hallelujah
is the accepted lie of hymns. Like a girl walking has never needed to fly
but could if she wanted. If winged & if the wings fit—if fielded, if felt.
What is the difference between asking & asking for it are the words
that we should burn into a field, Oh Glory. Whether you are lost
or whether you are the blondest bird leaned against a fence
hemming in an orchard, Ruth, you are the holy thing I look to.
So explain to me about the habits of cicadas, why only the men
speak, why it takes some of them 17 years to come correct.
All the leaves are eaten bare; yet the tree is not empty, we know
from experience—Ecclesiastes. Help me understand, help me reverse
the pilgrims’ stories. Make them rise up out of their bone crypts
doubled with purpose—bloodied, believing—& send them to war
for their girl queens. War for their daughters hallelujah
as it wasn’t in the beginning isn’t now & never shall be
world without end. Oh but God my God Amen.