Today's poem is by Erika Meitner


A large man holding his arms
fully outstretched is the nautical unit
of depth. Out of mine, I was buried
up to my ears.

Gertrude of Nivelles, the patron saint
of the recently dead, was renowned
for her hospitality — that's why
I let you in.

Wake me if you still want me, you said.
I wish my words could raise you
from your cardboard grave, arms reaching
toward the sky, towards me.

This August is so humid the door's wood swells
to fit the frame, making entrances difficult
and exits nearly impossible unless I kick it —
swift, hard, so it shudders.

My door a slab ripped
from its hinges. The parade of your body,
arms splayed out like blue sawhorses

police erect across intersections,
the proud T of their arms
holding back jubilant crowds.

Domenic Savio, patron saint
of juvenile delinquents, died at fifteen saying,
What beautiful things I see.

The blue stretcher; your heart
open to the sky, backs of your knuckles
scraping the cement walk.

Copyright © 2004 Erika Meitner All rights reserved
from Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore
Anhinga Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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