St. John of Damascus
The gold frame, swung crooked again
draws my eye—and rehearsing: stepladder
and shift, retreat, observe, stepladder, shift
again, more to the right—deciding all
of that was still far too much to be born.
I think it hangs that way, anyway.
And the poster print of ships in deep harbor
behind the glass likes a slant—pitching decks
more pitched. I lean back, stroke the table’s grain
and think—if I can be forgiven for quoting
a saint—I will not cease from praising
matter, through which my salvation was worked.
My Sister Walking on Sand
As she steps, the small bones
of her small foot
lift to press against her skin,
stretched over them
like pink bats’ wings.
I can hear her joints groaning
as her arms swing
and everything floats on the surface
as she shivers into the ocean.