by Kathleen Lynch

Kathleen Lynch

What if the earth like any body
has a mouth and must be fed
and it shoves its breath
in a fierce and shocking way
to knock the small meatlings
to their knees, to bring them
that much closer to tongue,
to swallow. And clouds

are its furled brows ragged
with the weight of tears
for it would be a beast of sorrow
too, the way it is for us,
with our terrible consciousness
with death the crux of hunger
with death the only way
to tear life out of air and into
the wet furnace of fullness.

A mountain splits, a mountain
trembles under the weight of satiation
gives itself back to liquid, its mouth
full of houses, cars, little bodies
like seeds in the teeth.

How can we not go into the field
or to the smacking lip of the sea
go every night and every day and fling
our thousand bright knives of prayer
into the air, try to catch each one
before it hits the ground.

Last updated April 02, 2023