Simone Muench's Poetry

Psalm

Fever-damaged girls
light up in a row. Spells
and vixens and dead calico kittens.
The convent said fire. The fire
said kindness. Kindness
took a victim. Bone
bonnets for the little girls
sleeping, and blue
beds for their snapped
necks. A kiss is a bite
is a bit. Slit in the clouds
above a slit throat. A black
coat and a black glove
went missing.

)

One girl was fallen
in cold golden light. Girl
killed by frost, a man's
hand on her starched
white collar, undone and
saturated with woodburn
while snow descended
like laudanum.

)

Doctor, come quick, the little girls
are sick, their voices muffled
by smoke and wool,
hands and psalms.

Hurry, hurry, it's the eclipse,
the girls aren't breathing
and the chapel is leaking.

Doctor, come quick,
someone's a heretic                 someone's a witch.


Published in Orange Crush (Sarabande Books, 2010)