Epistle with Cyclone by Karissa Morton


          Your hearts are broken.
          This is not a secret though there are secrets. —Claudia Rankine


Dear brother of life unordinary,
dear sister hovering in the house furthest from God,
I know you heard the calls of night,
saw your speckled ceilings as a command to hush.
I know you, too, feared the moment
when his touch would become branch & burn—
so trust me, little sparrows, when I say that even as you grow,
you will never rid yourself of that quiet terror.
Instead, let me live in his absence,
let my emptiness be the one that spins to ascendance,
roll yourselves in damp towels; let me fight the fire.
And as you cover your eyes, know, this is the gift of violence:
that worlds grow inside of you,
that you will always have that place to hide.



Karissa Morton received her MFA from BGSU, where she currently teaches creative writing & composition. She’s the co-editor-in-chief of Poets on Sports, poetry editor of Revolution House Magazine, & a writer for American Microreviews & Interviews. Her work can be found in The Indiana Review, Guernica, The Paris-American, Sonora Review, Lambda Literary, and other journals.