Fall 2013 • Vol. XXXV No. 4 PoetryOctober 1, 2013 |

A Patient Word

Placed a hank of her hair in his palm   folded the fingers around it With a brush for a tongue and a red ink pot   painted a prayer on his     belly One by one   walks through the room to become invisible The ink dries   on the brush that touched him last Only a touch so light might   the quick and the dead A patient word   the impatient flesh There can't be nothing   says   I will never wash it   says A bonfire flares   linked arm in arm The grizzled one   crawls over the ground We must hold hard to this poverty Laid her head on his chest   saw the black snake furled there

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Lee Sharkey is the author of Calendars of Fire (Tupelo Press, 2013) and three other full-length collections. Her poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, Field, Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, and Seattle Review. She is the coeditor of the Beloit Poetry Journal.

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First Song

By Lee Sharkey

Placed a hank of her hair in his palm   folded the fingers around it With a brush for a tongue and a red ink pot   painted a prayer on his     belly One […]

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By Lee Sharkey

Placed a hank of her hair in his palm   folded the fingers around it With a brush for a tongue and a red ink pot   painted a prayer on his     belly One […]

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