Issue 14
No Vacancy

When I heard her voice tonight,
a fan blowing and bringing the rain,

quiet, relatively: still,

I clasped my hands in front
in a nonexistent prayer.


Mother Theresa says that when she prays
she gets quiet and listens for God.

Someone asked once what God said to her.
She replied, “Nothing…

He’s listening, too.”


My father grows peacocks in a wire enclosure
in his backyard. The feathers they lose—

held up close—look like the feathered antennae of moths,
thin backbones and ribcages of bird skeletons,

leftover chicken scraps from people who eat meat
off the bone.


A Painted Lady hovers in a net before she’s stuffed
in a viewing box. Her nervure glows neon
against nipplewort.

She rests gently on the bottom of the clear
plastic, waiting.


You told me that
what matters most is to be honest to yourself
in the end.


She recites words I can’t understand in a language I don’t know,
Venus behind a microphone.


Can I open my eyes now?