JANE C. MILLER
CANTICLE FOR REMNANT DAYS
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.
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.
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.