Spirit Moves


When the Spirit moves, what does she do
          with her hands? She places them
          upon the sob-ravaged
          and raw faces of the destitute
          saints, grabbed by their pussies, punched in the throat,
          guns held to their foreheads by men who claimed
          a lien on their bodies.

How fine the gauge of her dress; was it knit from silence,
         armor-plated in hush? Her music the rustle of dried rosebuds falling, spent
         then pruned, then bloom to ravish again. She slips a moon
         glow, she spirals a dark thought coming
         to light the candles in the luminaries on the path.

In the desert, what does she conjure?
         Sweet clary smell of sage, she swells
         like an anthem rising. She contains
         time-sensitive material. The contours of her
         resistance aren’t sloped
         like a fist or a frying pan or the backside
         of a wooden door he broke her against.

Maybe you know this Spirit? Maybe you
         weep to me, I will hold your cracked soles,
         rub them down with sage-scented cream.

What does this holy spirit look like?
         A mirror.


Emily Shearer’s poems have been published in Kestrel, Silk Road Review, Please See Me and Ruminate, among others. Her collection “Our Bodies Were Universes” examines the intersections of women’s lives.