God’s Reply
by Lisa Caloro

  1. Your words are inaudible,
  2. a foreign language with no translation.
  3. I concentrate on eel and violet,
  4. beetle and willow reed,
  5. their tongue-less silence soothes.
  6. Where did you hide your children?
  7. I hear them breathing
  8. through locked doors;
  9. Strain to hear their voices,
  10. tiny music boxes
  11. filtering through the air
  12. like alarmed chickadees,
  13. their blood giddy --
  14. but they are stricken
  15. oceans lapping at my feet.
  16. I am swallowed
  17. by injured whales, galaxies
  18. hiding inside them
  19. a welcomed static.
  1. These razed fields
  2. sleep in my lungs
  3. like held breath, dandelion
  4. ash paves my throat.
  5. Surrounded by burning bushes,
  6. angry fires singe my eyebrows,
  7. the smoke an acrid prayer.
  8. My hands cannot hold
  9. these sorrows, these pulverized
  10. hymns whisper through my fingers,
  11. tingling stars poke holes
  12. in my only escape.
  13. There is no peace here;
  14. knees ache from concrete bruises,
  15. a shotgun nuzzles my temple,
  16. a world I didn’t create
  17. bellows in my ears.
Packingtown Review – Vol.14, Fall 2020

Lisa Caloro teaches college, writes, and bar-tends in a small Catskill Mountain town. Her poems have appeared in Evening Street Review, The Carolina Quarterly, and Slant, among other publications.

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