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Liturgical Considerations For Whatever It Takes

For the anger

    we erect hours endure

For the dreamless bed

    we pathos marital sex

For the lack of pragmatism

    we rhetoric victim

For the blame

    we unbearable season bear it

For the calendars

    we watch what we say

For the glass house we become

    we call ceremony

For the book thrown the door slammed

    we call desire

For the waiting the waiting

    we order takeout

For the money borrowed

    we call horizon

For the accidents of water of air

    we call normal

For the phone call the voicemail

    we what what do we

For the marks of our aging

    we call it whatever you want

For the wingless askings

    we barter for

For the Darwinian birdsongs

    we doubt the

For the Galilean moons

    we for the

For the prayers

    we for the

For the baby


For the


I will kill the babies myself I say
like a good woman the story of my tears
is the story of my bleeding all my shedding
every month I emerge a crying stone
curl in my socket of dried blood
as my body kills the babies one by one
and after I wash myself clean
I wash myself where their blood ran
through me I wash until there is no blood
wash until there is no skin or muscle
until there is no body until there are no
hands I wash until the water runs dry
until I am a rough stone, stone down
to the heart of me and I do not even cry

Liturgy of the Uterus

A ritual act in the interior storm

I stagger back white lilies on my cuff creeping up my sleeve

Deep in my body my asymptote my infinity my utterly

Hopeless urge severing an artery metaphorically obviously

Because my surgeon is lovely white lilies on his lapel

He wants the best for me

At my most animal I writhe in a rite of savage

I do not suffer silently this is having it all

I am a patron of want white lilies on my hem

Servant of begging let this body be good

Let it marauder its best absolutions

Let it swagger grand free-fall

Out of itself a vast desert blows through me

Who am I praying to?

Approaching zero this coming home


Sara Femenella received an MFA in poetry from Columbia University and a Masters in Education from Brooklyn College. Her poems have been published in Pleiades, The New Orleans Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, Denver Quarterly, Salamander and Dossier, among others. She is a reluctant transplant of Los Angeles, where she is a mother, a wife, a teacher, a writer, and a bad driver. She is finding and losing herself again and again.

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