P S A L M I
Thursday's cuttings of earth, cuttings of flesh. Flower carpels and sepals, a dictionary in disarray. The blind woman presses scriptural flowers into street hands. Asks the neighbor to tie up the bougainvillea shedding in the alley. Sounds like a wedding, vibrant colors rustling asunder. Ties up the branches with rope, sweeps the loose rogue scarlet of late summer, rough and wild, to the occluded fence. Petals of truth and red sun. Uneasy cease-fire in a war-torn city. Red earth and flesh burst open. Young stars are only hundreds of millions of years. God turns on the light in her body, a soft lamp with a leaning paper shade a mother uses while feeding her infant.
Karen An-hwei Lee is the author of In Medias Res (Sarabande Books, 2004), winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize and the Norma Farber First Book Award. Her chapbook, God's One Hundred Promises, received the Swan Scythe Press Prize. Two new collections, Ardor and Erythropoiesis, are forthcoming from Tupelo Press. She lives and teaches on the West Coast, where she is a novice harpist.