Be Uprooted and Planted in the Sea
There is a brand of escape that eschews misery.
A sort of flight without wake or slander.
So tell us,
what’s in your hands? What’s sitting on your back?
If faith, like the father said over an unsalted dinner,
is a magician’s dove, explain our love of pietas.
How churches stacked on churches
stacked on churches. How they’re bigger on the inside.
Where the stairs descend for days, and we couldn’t find
true north so deep, after that many deaths.
How a sentence can render a heart to slurry.
How weak it turns out kneecaps are.
(Mention pilgrimages, the body hiding nerves in the gut.)
Certain relics are nothing to trifle with:
a casino chip, styrofoam star,
the musculature of an aging kitten.
These are tests to be passed and origins to be verified
and still we’re left uncertain but stifled.
Depending on who we ask, what the world may lack
in satisfaction, it certainly gains in quickfire.
Talk to a surgeon of equity and a teacher of doubt. To believe
in a broken thing is to build a wall.
Or a well. Should we mention the pond?
Or go directly to duty and the love of men?
When the mornings are this slow, it may not matter.
It’s a very dangerous time. There’s more razor wire,
fewer clocks, and the oceans, well, the oceans.
Woody Loverude lives in Brooklyn and works in Manhattan. His poems can be found in Court Green, Ninth Letter, Columbia Poetry Review, and elsewhere.