Litany

Sing to holly, jeers of crickets, smog-partitioned moon;
dragonflies on wheat-stalks, billowed ash in black fields.

Sing to mud-slicked cattle, chickens, grain, bluebottles,
flickering light. Sing anything to comets shorn by trees,

ponds, wire, rusted pickups. Sing odes to eyes gazing
on shoots, horsehair rope, ballast collapsed on the Victorian porch,

sumac roots. Sing to grandmother in her late grave,
grandfather’s sputtering heart. Sing to blood on butchers’ aprons,

uncles in dust-beaten shops, Mexican cake, stained
Formica tables, pickled feet in jars, thumb-smeared portraits.

Sing to chasms and echoes, fingered, salty rain, persimmons,
gray-mottled clouds, chirp of children chasing frogs. Sing to bog,

sunlight, shallot, thorns and brush. Sing to farmhouse, silo, rick.
Sing to violets in bottles of white wine, windows impossible to close.

Sing to darkness, lanterns, silhouettes. Sing to unknown lands,
depths unexplored. Sing to war’s defeat, lovers, hanging

willow. Sing to kisses and flesh, waves, harp wafted
from ancient inns. Sing to maps unpinned. Blissful rest.

 
 
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Conor O'Connor was born in New York. He has published poetry in: SlantThe PinchThe Tulane ReviewVisions InternationalThe BakeryAnderboThe Quotable, and Wild Violet. His work has also appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. He lives in Norfolk, Virginia.