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The Saints Don’t Think of You Fondly

The saints have been squatting in my home

again. They can’t agree on the exact reason

for leaving paradise, but most nod when

the patron saint of the falsely accused says

he was tired of all the light. It always comes

back to light. I ask what’s to be done about

June’s rent? Some pull hands out of robe

folds holding stale loaves and palm fronds,

but the patron saint of the art a child could

have made is the first in the growing line,

offering me divine inspiration to paint

two red squares colliding. The tabloid

saint advises me on how to use cucumber

slices to sip cellulite from my thighs, while

the patron saint of cosmonauts provides

Komarov’s last words with the preface,

I know you have been searching. These

saints are used to Cain and Abel—love

measured in sacrifice. These saints are

starting to ask what you have earned.

They’re taking up your room, filling my

bed with cupped hands. Under the sheets,

the saint of depressed ex-lovers tells me

which men still hold my sweaters to their

mouths, but she doesn’t offer up my sweaters.

Her brother, the saint of you are not like

the others reads me a book of women who

have heard the same from you. It is getting

harder to sleep with all the knees sunk into my

back, with the smell of snuffed candles, but I

would still prefer to stay in tonight, because I’m

not the patron saint of rain. I’m not the patron

saint of moths hurtling toward well-lit windows.

from Poetry Northwest 11.2 Winter & Spring 2017More by Paige Lewis from the library

Copyright © Paige Lewis
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

Published in Paige Lewis Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.