The Hole in the Church of My Heart

by Alan Semerdjian

There is a hole in the church of my heart,
a fire in the palm of the young boy’s mind.

There is loss at the monument of topple
unannounced at midday unsteadiness.

There are fifteen minutes to see the birds
when my breath and its rooms escape me.

There are myths of intention circling skies
like vultures and parades of new madrigal

incantations, the letters of former words
scattering away from clusters of pages,

munitions. There is a swallowing of whole
tongues, a burying of more than just heads.

In the afternoon, these voices seek shade
to complete their inconceivable sentences.

In the evening, there is a snake in the black
garden. The children begin to chase its tail

again because there is no other play. I see
the moon through the whole of the night,

and I know, at least, that in thickening
smoke and holy gaze, I am not alone.

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