Mudlark No. 64 (2018)

once i thought you were loneliness 
because that’s what i was told 
and that’s how i felt but now i believe 
your name is love because i find love the banked fire 
                                           of rooms where your body is not estrangement but desire 
still so many of us so harmed makes longing a knife wound 
Christ how my wife kisses me when I’m unmade by pain 
my daughters hold me 

she and i always wondering if we really know your name 
when in mortal dread we remember the insect-whitened 
skull of a mule deer below the grey black of the forked tine pattern 

I’m afraid Jesus but with your kiss on my cheekbone 
and upward on my temple the agony is something 
radiant dark radiance please keep me alive (for now) for them 

Shann Ray | Atomic Theory 432, iv.5
Contents | Mudlark No. 64 (2018)