by Lisa Russ Spaar

Lisa Russ Spaar

A stick wrapped with sour sponge
to wet the lips; a grave dug

for the sacrificed heart.
Catheter that won’t insert.

This lit chain of stores where families eat
beside a highway, wet with rain.

The hurt you feel tonight I made.
It makes me small, crouched again

beneath a desk, spindly, wobbled
open maw that held a ruler,

mess of pencils, books in newsprint.
At the stoplight now, weather unspools

windshield lesions. Someone somewhere
tunes a bomb to her body.

In extremis. What a pain
like hers must feel like, bifold life,

this or that, I can’t imagine.
Strapped to mine is yours, I am

extended past our species.
Nuclei in our four hands.

Feet with penitential tongues,
pray here, pray now, always pray for

to be given.


Last updated December 17, 2022