I Dream a Litany of Sorrows

of soldiers and their sorrows
their field packs strung
with photos of loved ones,
lovers who wait at home

of lovers and their sorrows
days fraught with friction
and awkward admonitions
mouths cannot seem to hold

of mouths and their sorrows
angry tissue and tender teeth
the rough-bitten inner cheeks
that nip back words like no

of words and their sorrows
inadequate or fumbling
falling from lips like stumbling
drunks, litanies of false hope

of litanies and their sorrows
lines that repetitively plod
like prayers to a deafened god
I cannot pretend to know

of gods and their sorrows
and so it ends. Amen. Amen.

 

Day One

The sky is halfway scarlet –
dawn or dusk, I cannot tell.
I am cold but will not build a fire.
I tried earlier, but even
the glow of the embers was too
bright for my imagined quarantine,
my limbs and brain in a mutual
march toward oblivion. I compose
letters to my longing – dearest
raw meat, dearest lush –
and outside the river accuses.
I try to pray, my anguished knees
stuccoed with carpet burns.
The folds in the blinds
show me slices of stars.
I clasp my hands together and gasp,
my flesh remembering itself
as a person, as a body in the world.

 

 

Donna VorreyerDonna Vorreyer is the author of A House of Many Windows (Sundress Publications, 2013). Her work has appeared in many journals including Rhino, Linebreak, Cider Press Review, Stirring, Sweet,and Weave. Her fifth chapbook, We Build Houses of Our Bodies was released in 2013 by Dancing Girl Press, and her second poetry collection is forthcoming from Sundress Publications in 2016.

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