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Pub Day! (And a very good day to raise a toast at the pub!)

I Want To Write Something Other Than Elegies

-Elizabeth Bayou-Grace

A love poem, for instance, in perfect

iambs and rhymes so near but not and all

the things unsaid in that tiny, empty,

misplaced space. I want to paint the bouquet

of peonies my husband woke early

in the morning to fetch for me, I want

to move the vase all around our home, want

the exact light. I want to be precise

and deliberate, and joyful. But they

keep creeping into the frame. The sick.

If I could, all my poems would be about

being 23 in a big city

in a house with my best friends. Rent is cheap,

we never need to sleep. But still, the sick leak in.


From My Hospital Bed

… for when I am weak, then I am strong. St. Paul (2 Cor 12:1-10)

-Steven Lewis

So I’ve wandered this far into the breath-

taking woods, nothing but darkness ahead,

nothing behind except what I think

I remember. Or perhaps made up. I don’t

know. Also, I don’t know how I know

but I know now there is no path out

of this infinite forest nor why I am

certain there is a fallen tree trunk

up ahead that I will come upon and

sit down, lean over and, pressing my bare

forearms onto my weary thighs, gaze out

through the inscrutable thicket: branches,

leaves, choking vines, waiting for whatever

comes next: animal, rain, morning, hunger,

faith, love, the hunger of love, the everything

and nothing that arrives when prayers

are but childhood wishes, when we know

in our scarred and perfect souls

that what is sacred is profane, profane

sacred, that there is merciful strength

in closing our eyes and welcoming

this illness

of being human

with an unknowing smile.

—Port Royal, SC, May 2020

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