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Online Issue 25

Heaven Is Anywhere You Are My Sister by Julia Armstrong

 

 

after Max Ritvo and Claire Yoo

 

Virginia, I think God is in your moving.

 

As you go from room to room,

you trace holy lines like streaks of neon,

 

so bright my teeth ache.

 

Sometimes when you leave a place,

it’s like you’ve siphoned

 

all the grace from the air

and taken it with you.

 

Virginia, I think heaven is a clay city

safe within the gates of your brassiest laugh,

 

the one you hate,

the one I can’t live without. (I want

 

to walk towards it even now, remembering.)

 

There is no way to say I love you

without it feeling like a curse, as if I were

 

to drop the soft, shapeless bladder

of a rotting plum into your open palm.

 

Still, this remains a love poem. I speak to you

from the fruit’s darkest bruise.

 

Virginia, this is my milk-and-honey prayer

to the God in you: when people see us,

 

let them tell us what they think we could be.

May they always mistake us

 

for the thing we are not.

By gulfstreamlitmag

www.gulfstreamlitmag.com