Inside the vines,
the sunspotted gloom.
a lost doll, the bones
of moles and mice,
a broken bottle: small
lot not worth knowing
with its reliquaries,
its anchorite, her paint
fading, and the voices
of saints blowing through.
Starlings perch like angels
in the clerestory; sparrows
dark and humped-backed
as monks in the fluted
triforium; the blossom
of its rose window burns—
outside, the dies irae of
a lawnmower, kicking dust—
and then the quiet—
the holiness of martyrs.
It trembles, the brute knot,
gleaming overripe: wine
of black-red berries, leaf-mesh,
thorn crown, fire snare,
tanglewood, sunburst air.

Russell Brickey

About the poet: Russell Brickey holds an MFA in creative writing from Purdue University and is a PhD candidate in literature there. Currently he works as the Coordinator of the Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He is originally from Oregon. He has poetry in Mannequin Envy, Roadrunner, and Poem.