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Tabernacles Will Turn to Sieves

In my house of rooms

I measure what can’t be left or gotten over.

Lowercase letters climb up and down stairways,

bedrooms crumble inside a million broken mirrors,

foyers are lined with birthday cake.

Marching bands accompany me

to the daily precipice.

Effigies of old women give away papers

scribbled with tricks that seem transgressive.

Gods that are not god to anybody.

The love of a second god, or a third that shadows it.

Or shadows themselves, truths to grudgingly love

though it doesn’t burn like some tree

and it feels kind of frozen.

I was a fool to put my hand in.

Your tabernacles will turn to sieves, it said.

So I open my briefcase of balms and correctives

and stack them in cupboards of my ancient house.

I welcome the gladiators and mermaids

who are there to murder me.

Let them do it. I will decorate this house

with the future tense. I fill my house with hymns.

from Forest with CastanetsFind more by Diane Mehta at the library

Copyright © 2018 Diane Mehta
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

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.