Petition by Traci Brimhall


In the temple, a pear blackens in a statue’s palm.
Birds steal the grain. A man climbs the steps
holding his severed hand, but no miracle occurs.

His body refuses to reach out and claim what it lost.
A woman in a white dress waits to be overshadowed
as she plucks her eyelashes—one for the horses,

one for the rain, one for the hair on the back
of her lover’s hands. She wants her virtue
restored, to return to a morning when her skin

was new and unwounded, when her mouth still fit
her mother’s breast. You came to ask if it’s true,
if angels weep until their faces become human,

and if the dead can escape their tombs, then—
You trap wind as it enters the statue’s mouth,
and command it to rise, walk.


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