– Lisa Russ Spaar – 


Lenten Schewings,  3 


Think police, chesthammer, badges
sluiced with blood strobe,

blind fumble in the glove compartment,
ethanol panting, who am I, this parking lot 

over which a thickened spectacle,
scythed moon, Orion’s gymnast soul,

Venus, Mars, & Jupiter bid me slow
down, lean against the car, look up,

show,  prove myself to be
what I am, drunk with work,

stowing a heavy stash of gnar,
stars eyeing me, she’s too old 

to be spring, with its pent plantings
still bent at curbs, tucked beneath signage,

yet how she courses with secret lilt
& the guiltless jilting of winter.



Lenten Schewings,  5


Cambric pucker of the fragrant cake
I make in winter.  Grief wants its heat, 

your hand, braceleted quail, small sack of keys
held in mine through the gurney’s railing,

lace doily swallowing itself
under flat lake of a hand mirror,

hairbrush meshed and silver-wattled,
bleached by that night when all bodies 

are released from form.  Grandmother,
I still use your receipt, caster sugar, sultanas,

flaked scrolls of lemon peel. 
Forgive that I now speak of love

even as blood graphs gowns of desert mothers
& forces seismic wrench rooftops in a gunfire rain. 

His erect wound is my secret,
a coast of eagles inside it:

not the addressed side of the letter,
but the enflamed traveling, that message.



Evening Campaign


Gaunt, fallen.
To say it were a mask
Would transgress
The shell of my face
Against this overcome window
Unapproachable with stars.
Defer nothing:  bistre
balconies of bookshelves,
spines, folded labia
of a pressed, silled rose.
Somewhere a carcass
Is hacked wide apart.
This is not that, the slain
stormed by life’s lust.
This is that lust.
Steadfast, word
In the scarlet sword.