MY LOVER IS THE SUNLIGHT After Hozier & Azra Tabassum
In nomine patris, et filii, et spiritus sancti.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and
the Holy Spirit. In the name of her parents,
who say I have tainted her chance at Heaven.
In the name of the rosary beads that shattered
between my palms in anger. In the name of
the desert I am drowning in. In the name of
the gorgeous girl I never meant to make a
stained glass window of.
Forgive me, Father, for she and I were not chiseled
from the man’s bone, from the man’s fingers
or the man’s lust. We have hearts that are cracking
whips across our insides; we have hearts seeking
atonement. Each lashing is another letter to Him:
Dear God, she is my keeper.
Dear God, I am meant to lie with her.
Dear God, we are meant to be in Your eyes.
Dear God, please. Please.
I want to hold onto my faith. I want to see
His face turn into Hers when she is next to me.
I can’t hold my heart down much longer.
Grant my heart its wings, grant our love
the sunlight. God, we were not born of ill bones
or sick minds. The weight of the world
is beginning to feel like stones in our pockets.
They plant another poisonous fruit, and
we drown again. Dear God, she and I
refuse to believe we are sick. But if we are,
do not heal us.
Lydia Havens writes and lives in Tucson. She is the Executive Poetry Editor/Assistant Editor in Chief of Transcendence Magazine, as well as an intern for Spoken Futures, Inc. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in FreezeRay Poetry, The Pulp Zine, burntdistrict, and Vademecum Magazine, among other places. She blogs at lydiahavens.tumblr.com, which she uses mostly as a moodboard and a place to talk about her passions.
Bob and I were at The Cage after a Hemingway’s reading
and I was telling him about how I wanted to make a book
or a CD or something called that. We’d just seen Ochester
and after the reading, Ed treated us with some great stories
about Harry Crews, stories you could tell he had told over
and over again to get the pacing right and to suck us all in
and to know the right way to punch line. Maybe the book
or whatever it is could be called Younger Writers Telling
Stories About Old Writers Talking About Old Writers—
I could ask Bob and Dave and Lori and Kris to tell some.
And I could tell about Gerald Stern talking about Gilbert
jumping over the Cathedral hedges along Forbes Avenue
or recount Chuck Kinder’s tale about Richard Hugo and
his big bowl of vanilla ice cream. It’d be nice to get some
down so we don’t lose them. Stories grow soft with time.
Though sometimes we fill in the gaps with juicier details
to make the story better, making the story our own, with
the hope we don’t lose the best parts, we don’t sacrifice
the real story. As if we really know or care what that is.
Scott Silsbe was born in Detroit. He now lives in Pittsburgh, where he sells books, makes music, and writes. His poems have recently appeared in The Chariton Review, Nerve Cowboy, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He is the author of Unattended Fire (Six Gallery Press, 2012) and the forthcoming collection The River Underneath the City (Low Ghost, 2013).