JANE C. MILLER

 

CANTICLE FOR REMNANT DAYS

1.

The sun, ragged and red, salsas the sea:

the mollusks, the octopi, all creatures

in it, puppets of salinity. Don’t we have license

to forget the handwringing of hours

that fill and fall as salt in its cellar?

Where Lot’s wife was reduced to brine,

nothing grew. Leave the pick-ax, its deep-set mines,

likewise the cubicle and badge.

Let evening roller coaster like hair

free of its net. Remember night is the rock

where you beat your clothes clean.

2.

The remnant day walks with you.

Guard its aches and banes as you would

a boxer’s hands. Tenderly wash

the knuckled bruises, the scrapes closing

to scab. In the last gape of sun, bind them

white with sheets as bandages. In the gap

where curtains part, the moon, blank

as agape, whispers.

3.

I am the and between sun &

none, the needle that closes the chain-link

gap torn in day’s worn jumper.

Do not heed the blood. It will stop itself,

as moon does the sun, heedless

of its falling. In the tilt to night, all

is prayer: moonflowers open their parasols

and tomorrow carries us to bed, counting down from ten

our waking breaths.

 

Jane C. Miller’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the Colorado Review, The American Journal of Poetry, Summerset Review, Mojave River Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and elsewhere. Awarded a fellowship and honorable mention from the DDOA, Miller has been nominated for Best New Poets and Best of the Net. She was a finalist in the 2017 Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Contest and the 2018 Florence C. Coltman Award for Creative Writing. She lives in Delaware.

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