In the Voice of a Minor Saint by Sarah J. Sloat

 

SUMMER’S END

Noon wounds me with its bees, its burning.
I weary of the season, whitewash
and blind arrows.

The sun has come to steal my outline,
come to sort me,
stretch me along its javelin.

Succumb, it says, when
already the heat is lurching south
in one long exhalation.

Every night I’m more in love
with sleep. Closing my eyes

I let each blue dram
trickle into my iris.

GHAZAL WITH HEAVENLY BODIES

If the moon comes out bearing nicks and bite marks,
you’ll find me smoothing my skin of its cares tonight.

Under a halo the size of a ring, the old
arguments sit splitting their oldest hairs tonight.

Look at me crooked. Mistake me for Eve. If looks
deceive, who knows which mask our maker wears tonight?

On the tablecloth, red and bending like bows, wine
glass stains stutter their elliptical prayers tonight.

Yet again, love drops anchor where lust dug its moat.
On the roof, angels play musical chairs tonight.

My signature moves like loops and lightning. Letter
posted, I’ll sleep the sleep of millionaires tonight.

GRASSLAND

When I could not get with child
I swallowed the egg of the meadowlark
who eats the daylight,
the mother of untangled grasses.
A long drop, the egg bore its root
in my foot, it stitched me
together with grain.

I am patient now. I am not damaged by waiting.
Languid as a coming rain, stalks
inch alongside my veins to the tips
of my fingers. A grassland has thirst,
so does a fire,
a cup,
noon,
the color of flour.

So while I sleep the moon creeps
between my poised teeth

“Summer’s End” first appeared in Yemassee; “Ghazal with Heavenly Bodies” first appeared in Linebreak; “Grassland” first appeared in The Rose and Thorn.


Sarah SloatSarah J. Sloat lives in Frankfurt, Germany, a stone’s throw from Schopenhauer’s grave. Her poems and prose have appeared in The Offing, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Beloit Poetry Journal, among other journals. Sarah’s chapbook of poems on typefaces and texts, Inksuite, is available from Dancing Girl Press, which also published Heiress to a Small Ruin in 2016.

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