Book of Hours Manuscript 186, Walters Art Museum – a poem by Kyle Laws

Book of Hours Manuscript 186, Walters Art Museum

In a room, specially lit to not fade, lies one page of a manuscript
painted by monks.

I want to know where the rest are. All that’s left is the beauty
of ephemera, like us.

The words are gone, taken from our mouths. Screams at the door
for help

have been melted down as fillings from the mouths of the dead.
How can there be no blood at such a brutal death?

How can it be set in gold? I can believe set in the body of child
consecrated by father.

A crucifixion in which at the last minute the father scoops
up the son and says, This has gone too far.

This is more than I can bear even if he is not my flesh,
but my spirit. No, this is the tale of a woman.

It has pearls, symbol of a purity that cannot be without grit,
the invasion of shell.


Kyle Laws is based out of the Arts Alliance Studios Community in Pueblo, CO where she directs Line/Circle: Women Poets in Performance. Her collections include Ride the Pink Horse (Stubborn Mule Press, 2019), Faces of Fishing Creek (Middle Creek Publishing, 2018), This Town: Poems of Correspondence with Jared Smith (Liquid Light Press, 2017), So Bright to Blind (Five Oaks Press, 2015), and Wildwood (Lummox Press, 2014). With eight nominations for a Pushcart Prize, her poems and essays have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Germany. She is the editor and publisher of Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press.

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