Issue 5 – Laurel


Kristin Laurel

Beyond Words

Even god is only possible through language – Jude Nutter

Sunday morning
all my loved ones asleep
just to hear the rise
and fall of their easy

breathing; that that peek
at their pillowed heads;
their eyelids shifting
into clandestine dreams
should be miracle enough.

But I want secrets,
notes passed in class.
Last night I dreamed I
was soaking in the bath
with all the letter of the alphabet.
But now, I cannot find them.

Litter collects outside my window:

Broken beer bottle, wad of chewed
up bubble gum, a frozen black sock

stuck on the curb.

My dusty Bible sits
on the shelf next to
the Best American Poetry.
I open the book, and come to the poem, Word.

Suddenly,
I am in a room with a daughter, her dying mother.
In this room with an open window,
I, too, can hear the skylark’s rising smear of music,
and I, too, can see the sleek, white pony
in the wet, roped-off pasture.
And even though these are not my words,
this is my mother.

I say, there is nothing
like a poet to show us the good news:
That we are not alone. That we are human.
That words form. Tears evaporate.

And even though god is just a word,
there are days when we cannot find our own.
And so I return to hers.

I am going there, now.