Hannah Lee Jones

by Hannah Lee Jones

And when the girl asks her why that man set himself on fire,
how is she to respond except as any mother hemorrhaged
by loving would, that someone so wild for a clear sky
would think to exit famine by way of a lighter and gasoline,
every building and street light kept eyewise on him,
what a price his life was, what miracles are seeds
sown in flames, and what a fearful wind his god must ride upon;
the only unspoken thing a fraying of tissue into carbon
like a seal engraved with a dragon’s face, as if there were nothing
to hold heavenward in the wake of a monk’s beating
or the prayer of a scream out of a downlit alley
in a dream no one wakes from; and all this while
somewhere in the world another girl asks her mother about death
and the reply comes more as a question in itself,
something about grace arriving with a phoenix in her hand,
no souls above the wind and no stones rolled from their graves,
just grace herself saying in the name of my many names,
let there be nothing on earth but this, my hunger, your brightness.

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 4.

Hannah Lee JonesHannah Lee Jones’s poetry and fiction have recently appeared in Superstition ReviewLiterary OrphansApogee Journal, and Orion. She edits Primal School, a blog resource for poets who are pursuing their craft without an MFA, and lives on Whidbey Island in northwest Washington.

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