Dying Sculptor and On Edge by Allison Grayhurst


Dying Sculptor


A thousand nations

coil within her veins,

within hands whose blood

have slowed despite their

depth and ecstasy.


In her poncho of sunset orange-red,

in her hospital bed

where the dim light looms

through a window on the ninth floor,

she is adorned in conscious resolve.


Conscious of the pain that creeps under

her covers like an unwanted lover, creeps

through her body like a narcotic,

mauling her mind

chaotic and cruel.


Yet with an optimism that rages beyond

her physical doom, she watches

the conversing of trees and stars

from the window in her room, gently easing

in and out of sleep.



On Edge


Recoiling then seizing the slanted hero

who lacks virtue or self-reproach

but reaches her destination just the same.

In this room where the flies are bent on suffering,

and cruel words ambush you when you sleep,

the dead play tricks with your long-lived grief

and the good light is crossed out like a lifetime



But faith fills the void when you find it,

and know it like an exotic frog’s poisonous skin

or the sky after hours spent in the cellar.

And faith is never found

only once but must grow its wings again

and again.


In this room where defeat has clawed into my mind

with the same old tune,

I hold up my head and wait for heaven

to throw me a flame and let

the milk pour.





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