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Wednesday, March 25, 2009


by Eliza Kelley

I just sold
my mother’s diamond ring
to pay for last month’s heat.

This is no parable
wrestling angels with golden bows.

The lesson here must be
the terrible hymn of a pearl
become dust, too long bereft

of human touch, disintegrated
into its own dry weight
like the rising number of tent dwellers

sorting through
to the bottom
of the last supper city
mission bin: finding nothing to fit, just

the lost pearl, broken loose
from its button place.

We hold only this truth
self-evident, a bauble
crushed in the palm of our hand, stand
together, alone, wonder

who will lift us up?
We are suddenly wise
who find nothing left to pawn.

Portrait artist and writer, Eliza Kelley, teaches Native American and Minority Literatures, Human Rights Discourse and Creative Writing at Buffalo State College in New York. Recent poetry and fiction appears in CONTE, RKVRY, Origami Condom, and Trillium.