This selection, chosen by Managing Editor Krista Cox, is from Open the Fist by Elya Braden, released by Finishing Line Press in 2020.
Fall tracks footprints
through rooms too small and numbered,
floors shouting up naked stairs or down.
We choose our substitutions:
the faces we hold between our hands
and kiss with eyes made wide.
The trees shed leaves like green tears.
Ragged footsteps hurried on the way
to some bright elevation,
another path to love or to the illusion
of a mountaintop where breath is deeper,
hope blooms in a purple crocus.
Everyone’s cold. Wine leaks
from a cracked glass. Fasting promises
a God who has abandoned me.
I’ll bow through days of awe.
The pendulum swings. I pray
that someone, somewhere can hear.
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