Susan Carlson

Sermon on the Mount

We are an earthly flock
making laden our way
beneath flights of starlings
startling the sky – murmuration –
the word for their shadow show.
Physics joining biology to form a crowd
of wings murmuring air.

We do it too. Move holy together.
Multitudes of us, ashen and rising
from dust, common, ridiculous,
aspiration feathering flesh, inclination
converging then waving away
like ground lilies. Mud-bound birds
joined in consideration of flight.

Within Skin

The girl
who sheds the skin of her longing
escapes into more
Alan Gillis

The force that moves
the snake forward
whatever skin
he is in
moves in me
until I am devout
with what it means
to shine
like a star
every dirty thing
that slithers its way
through the dark
heart of a man,
each one good
to do. Light
but it does not
We who worship
long to join
what moves
with what twines
over what was
from the start.


Susan Carlson lives, works, and writes in southeastern Michigan. She has had the opportunity to develop her poetry in workshops at Tin House, the Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference, and Djerassi Resident Artists programs. Her poems have appeared in Your Impossible Voice, The Blue Bear Review, and The Switchgrass Review, and are forthcoming in Pretty Owl PoetryMadness Muse Press and The Other Journal.

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