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Laura Reece HoganDecember 15, 2022

splintered block of wood         grooved, now behind glass
            in the Avila monastery            what dreams

if she could sleep     did she lie supine         or turn to press
           her skull, ear painful           to listen

for what is rigid, immobile        I am thinking of the slender neck
         ossifying at that angle                       sometimes it hurts

too much to move ourselves                           God tossed her
            like a ragdoll from a horse into seven inches of muck

if this is how you treat your friends     (she could get sassy
            with her love)             then no wonder you have so few

but he knows what he’s about                                   knows
                         when to throw us hard

when to carve away the comfort of ruts          bolt us           jolt
           us like Jacob                       to wrangle

the dark dazzling weight of an angel              your unbearable
          finger                       thrusts

unhinges my contending hip             (what did you think
         this rising                      from the mud would look like?)

of the stone pillow      we make an altar      pour oil
            if we dream, painful                             hear the new name

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