I believe in holy theft.
Pelvis bone of Saint What’s-His-Name
hoisted above famished fields for rain.
Knuckle of the Mother for luck.
Splinter of manger. Shards,
their haloed ephemera.
To hold a relic is to change it,
under glass, with ropes, a ring of stones.
Lord knows to protect love
costs a tender violence.
Head snippings pressed
between crystal lenticels.
Crescent horn of fingernail in locket;
rogue, lure-hairs, a spell of seed
captured in places unmentionable.
with hands and more we’ve stolen.
Gut-twisted silver winter. Soul’s gold.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.