Today is the Day I Will Believe in Something Like Light – a poem by Sarah A. Etlinger

Today is the Day I Will Believe in Something Like Light

Today is the day I attend Mass
and say Amen without a heart.
Your hands move through prayer
like water in summer trees,
sparkling tessellations winking in the sky

the only church I’ve ever been to
is one with broken birds
and souls
with light, blue and calm as day,
lost love at first sight

there is something holy
about a body beyond itself,
a body shorn clean of voice,
of light
as if by a lion’s tongue

You take my picture as I move
into the shadows so you can bury it
with the bones of your memory
the dirt full of holes
to hide all the things we hope
our eyes reveal–

……..(in springtime the first thing I do
…… scour the ground
……..for crocus fingers climbing sore
……..and weary out of the earth)

You ask me at the cusp of breathing
where will we go

where will we go
when the night hides away
and the light is red as strawberries
in the slice of summer sun
quivering under the knife’s cut:
a final rendering.


Sarah A. Etlinger is an English professor who resides in Milwaukee, WI. A Pushcart-nominated poet, she is author of two chapbooks: Never One for Promises (Kelsay Books, 2018) and Little Human Things (Clare Songbirds, forthcoming Fall 2019). You can find her work in places like Neologism Poetry Journal, The Magnolia Review, and Brine.

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