I can make a bird out of you,

    out of sticks, 

keep you in a vessel I can blow into

   and fill with breath, 

then, in the condensation, write 

   your name and kiss it.  

Last night, I had the strength to

   dream you.  

You become a swallow.  You sing in

   the eaves, and I feel almost whole. 

But I can't swallow you

take you down into the windowless

   hole within me--

your hands and feet pressing out 

   again, your body surging 

beneath my surface.  You sing until

   dusk and then fly off.   

In the hospital, I remember hearing

   your heart's murmur, whistling 

through the tiny hole in me. Some-

day, it will matter that everything 

  continues to happen--the hollowness too.  

The dogs barks after you're gone.  

   A nest remains impossibly 

empty, born of the beams 

   of the house. 

Narrated by a woman standing and turning counterclockwise on the edge of a parking lot, A Strange Catechism is a raw, moving, surprising and heartbreaking collection of poetry.  Inspired by a real life meeting with a woman who had lost everything, the poems form a narrative arc in which grief is redeemed by grace.

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