Conjunctions:28 Secular Psalms

Without Pity
To embark sleepily
being everywhere
To fashion oneself
wholly after dogs
To talk oneself out of
a beautiful illness
eschewing affection
and envying lilies
How were the fish eaten
the fire carried
If beauty came
only by restraint
How does a ghost eat?
Even Mary crumbled under piety—
her stone son
Understanding misery
never to desert it
What can be forgiven
of its dangerous body
(not a constant)
To find the branch
of an underground river
while tongues wag out
the weakest things
To escape design
(its “higher calling”)
To make or love
To hate the agony
of any human thing.

Poet Elizabeth Willis’s books include Turneresque (Burning Deck) and The Human Abstract (Penguin).