She reads their names aloud,
men, beloved to some,
lynched in Little River County,
Arkansas, each appellation
engraved on a six-foot
Music is what I call an anti-commodity—a thing that isn’t exhausted when used or given away but gets larger and more valuable, like the fish and loaves in the gospel. In that way, a song is like love or friendship or trust, those other anti-commodities that increase with the giving.Read More
I made you a promise I intended to keep:
I will cover my body; I will keep your words near
like the pearl at the curve of my ear.
It wasn’t long before I began
pinching myself for fat, for acne, learned
to hate my body in a swimsuit, in clothes.
I pace the cracked suburban paving.
Fiats gust, lizards flick, Jesus
Christ: that ankle-speck of a rat hound
bashing the railings, baying.
If I’m to be serious about my music, or any art, I shouldn’t put it toward anything as problematic as God, but toward ambition, achievement: the only reliable gods.Read More
It wasn’t a death exactly, though I’ve been
undone by deaths the same way.
It was the season of the prayer for rain. To condense, to cloud, to empty out, to rain. And nothing is familiar but the rain.Read More
It seems to me that in displaying the profound aesthetic, cultural, and spiritual beauty of a common bequest like trees, we are moved to value them more and to experience an awe that humbles and amazes—something that makes us more respectful participants in the natural world.Read More
It is only the forgetting—of our debts, of our teachers and fellows, of our place in the larger story we are unwittingly writing—that is a sin, a crime against memory, against both past and posterity.Read More