Elegy with an Act of God—Taylor Hamann Los

On this night of salt and fire, 
this night the praying men 
warned of, the mountains 
deepen to indigo with unshed 
grief. Here there is weeping 
and gnashing of teeth, 
water tumbling into the pit. 
O boy with bedraggled cap,
didn’t you know how the goats
would cry when you stacked
kindling by their pen?
O girl with dirty apron,
help me press the fog 
like gauze to our wounds.
We’ll unspool the next hours 
with blackened fingers, 
rain hissing on hot earth. 
I have tasted this smoke 
before, heard chthonic deities  
writhe against their chains. 
Here there is shucking of souls, 
graves cracking open 
among the walnut trees. 
Tomorrow carrion crows
will come. They will pick 
through the bones and erect 
an altar of stone for bodies 
still warm and twitching.
Then the dead will climb
into ancient boats, find 
a river wide and burning.

Taylor Hamann Los holds an MLIS from UW-Milwaukee and is an MFA student at Lindenwood University. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Moist Poetry JournalSplit Rock ReviewRust + Moth, and perhappened, among others. She lives with her husband and two kittens in Wisconsin. You can find her on Twitter (@taylorhamannlos) or at taylorhamannlos.wordpress.com.

photo by Alfred Kenneally (via unsplash)