Saint Francis and the Sow

this little piggy

The bud

stands for all things,

even for those things that don’t flower,

for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;

though sometimes it is necessary

to reteach a thing its loveliness,

to put a hand on its brow

of the flower

and retell it in words and in touch

it is lovely

until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;

as Saint Francis

put his hand on the creased forehead

of the sow, and told her in words and in touch

blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow

began remembering all down her thick length,

from the earthen snout all the way

through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,

from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine

down through the great broken heart

to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering

from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths

sucking and blowing beneath them:

the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

— Galway Kinnell



Where it says snow

read teeth-marks of a virgin

Where it says knife read

you passed through my bones

like a police-whistle

Where it says table read horse

Where it says horse read my migrant’s bundle

Apples are to remain apples

Each time a hat appears

think of Isaac Newton

reading the Old Testament

Remove all periods

They are scars made by words

I couldn’t bring myself to say

Put a finger over each sunrise

it will blind you otherwise

That damn ant is still stirring

Will there be time left to list

all errors to replace

all hands guns owls plates

all cigars ponds woods and reach

that beer-bottle my greatest mistake

the word I allowed to be written

when I should have shouted

her name

— Charles Simic

fallen leaf

fallen leaf

It’s late. I’ve come
to find the flower which blossoms
like a saint dying upside down.
The rose won’t do, nor the iris.
I’ve come to find the moody one, the shy one,
downcast, grave, and isolated.
Now, blackness gathers in the grass,
and I am on my hands and knees.
What is its name?

– Li-Young Lee

candy says

some spots

Candy says I’ve come to hate my body and all that it requires in this world Candy says I’d like to know completely what others so discreetly talk about

I’m gonna watch the blue birds fly over my shoulder I’m gonna watch them pass me by Maybe when I’m older What do you think I’d see If I could walk away from me

Candy says I hate the quiet places that cause the smallest taste of what will be Candy says I hate the big decisions that cause endless revisions in my mind

— The Velvet Underground

for her

for herWhat happened, happened once. So now it’s best
in memory — an orange he sliced: the skin
unbroken, then the knife, the chilled
wedge lifted to my mouth, his mouth, the thin
membrane between us, the exquisite orange,
tongue, orange, my nakedness and his…
Beside the stove we ate an orange.
And there were purple flowers on the table.
And we still had hours.

— kim addonizio