Androgynous angel, with fiery-tipped tongue

like a hummingbird, ruby-throat, lingering buzz

of the bee wings, jewel feathers all lighter than flame

you circle my head like a halo, a dog sniffing

for something familiar or something exotic,

erotic. No word fits, too much

and too little. Fingers are lighter than feather

than breath. Wind over water, water over sand

over earth that receives and then swallows.

We release ourselves when we are ready.

Finished, reborn to the red sky and feathers

and the insects and buzzing, born again gold

to one another.

After Reading About Teresa of Avila

Wren Donovan’s poetry appears or is upcoming in Poetry South, Chaotic Merge, Harpy Hybrid Review, Yellow Arrow, Moist Poetry, and elsewhere. She studied folklore and creative writing at UNC-Chapel Hill and University of Southern Mississippi. Wren reads Tarot and history books and talks to cats. She lives in Tennessee.

You didn’t mean to end up here,

says Our Lady of Loretto,

the lady of the rocky creeks,

green closets hiding deer,

soundtrack rich with birdsong.

She whispers while I sleep

here, far from cities,

far from where I thought I’d be.

Transported by the angels, she comes

to Tennessee, the greenest place.

I left Atlanta once upon a time

and I’m still dreaming. She whispers

Hush, and pulls the cotton quilt up to my chin.

Palms open, benedictions, blessings:

shriek of blue jays cracking silence,

paper voice of beech leaves in the wind.

Here is your place to rest,

your deepest cover. I will keep you

safe enough, and calm

enough, and you’ll forget, and

then remember other things

like your own voice.


What if I were

to wax prosaic, wane

proto-erotic, shine out

symbiotic. You bring home

the eggs and I the bacon,

let us stew and sizzle

slide across the underside

of our sea-home, here

along the seawall slimy

ripe with lichens, glossy

with the undertow of life.

What if I were

to glisten for you, shed

these scales mercurial,

show off my bones, the spines

that comb and

choke if you’re not careful.

Upstream, then

and back again as refuse

of the fishy goddess,

once she’s had her way

with us