Malachi Black

INTO THE MOUTHS OF SAINTS

 

            Lord, I am
stung: your name
           crisp as a wasp
upon my tongue,
           I blister, lame

less than I am
             numb from
wanting: clenched
           as the mantis is, 
I knelt in dust,

            stuttered open, 
full of throat
           and pulse, each
red cell swollen
             like the locust’s

husk with longing:
            but O, hollow
vowel, hum
            of the bare folds
of the breathless

             lung, your prayer
has emptied me
             of breath begun
in calling: all
            I know above

us is the echo
            of my own
voice, baffling
             the absence
of reply.

 

 


MALACHI BLACK is the author of Storm Toward Morning (Copper Canyon),a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award and a selection for their New American Poets Series. His poems appear widely in journals and anthologies, and have been recognized by a number of fellowships and awards. He is an assistant professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of San Diego.


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