Michelle Matthees

Losing,
by Michelle Matthees

A flock of doves condensed into vestments.
All of winter stood before the people,
disguised as a man with a pleasant singing voice.

Candles were lit behind him to stave off
the cold, and as they climbed their private
staircases, young women in distant lands

pressed their faces onto glass windows.
Below, the burnt leaves of November
were stoked and lifted their gray silk into the air.

Meanwhile the man stood before his admirers
and in the oven of his arms baked bread.
It appeared, steaming, clean, whole.

An old peasant woman stoked the leaves,
gray scarf rounding her head into stone.
“Why must there always be betrayal?” she asked.

It was dusk, and the dark soil offered no reply.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 1.

Michelle MattheesMichelle Matthees’s poems can be found in Pank, The Prose Poem Project, The Bellingham Review, Bloomsbury Review, Prove, and elsewhere. She is a current recipient of Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant and has received awards in the past from Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis, The Jerome Foundation, AWP, and other arts organizations. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota.

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