The Sisters as Lies by Jordan Windholz

Half of all whales speak French, the sisters read, and third of all facts are acts of faith the reasoning
few imbue with their esoteric rituals of data. A quarter of all owls are dreams fetal mice make to
forestall their waking, and a third of all words are derived from the happenstance glyphs of
murmurating warblers. There is no truth a lie can’t shape. It’s all in their books, which they gather
now, and dump into a mound. It’s all in their books, onto which they drop a furious match. It sparks
the pile of pages into a velvet heat. The fire roars like a heresy set down by a gaggle of Puritans. It
seethes like the very sin the sermons say are pressed beneath their frocks. How many men have told
them what it is to know, have told them that their bodies were a story they had to inherit? Their
faces flicker into a smile as the blaze blazes like Archimedes’ burning glass. How reckless, they will
be told, how evil. But they know now. Nature has her witnesses. The fire is the air alive with what it
is thinking.
Jordan Windholz is the author of Other Psalms (UNT Press, 2015), which won the 2014 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry. His poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Diagram, 32poems, and Gold Wake Live, among other publications. He is an assistant professor of English at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches courses on renaissance British literature, creative writing, and technical and professional writing. His scholarly work has been published or is forthcoming in English Literary Renaissance, Modern Philology, Humanities, and Profession. You can find him online at and on Twitter @jwindholz.