You need nerve to spread your life out
on the floor: mother’s handwriting, tombstones,
mammoth bones, some branches cut
from a tree. On the island off the coast—
unfiltered daylight, untreated summer—the makeshift
boats were a silent protest. So I went to church—
I mean the offered space
where thinking has its own life, sometimes
reluctant, but beauty enough. You need
friends who make sense.
You need a little sooner,
a little later. In our dismantled state
still may we choose the body—
that old barn, that touched saint.
Beth Marzoni’s poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Midwest Review, Water~Stone Review, Midwestern Gothic, New Ohio Review, and Poetry Northwest among others. She frequently collaborates with Monica Berlin, and their book, No Shape Bends the River So Long, was published in 2015 by Parlor Press.