Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
The Phoenix Issue, No. 16, Winter 2008
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  H.L. Hix
  Marci Rae Johnson
  Jae Newman
  Geoffrey G. O'Brien
  K. Alma Peterson
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I Grant You That

All our years the vultures were made of chiseled stone,
immobile rows of polished wings, eyes narrowed

at our own. Some while praying sense a light, others lashes
on their backs. Still others set their beds on fire, knowing

how history turns to ash, quickens skyward and once in space
does not return. For my part I cannot tell: was the sea already frozen

or did my begging make it so? Hard to say if rocks rend ships
or if they throw themselves upon them. That rock, itself,

the one we saw emerging inevitable and sharp, just as once
out of the multitude rolled the planet from whose mud sprang

a frog as the sun heated and cured her oiled black hide,
halved us abruptly, the same swift way she burned.

Who has ever heard such singing. The pain is going, is gone.
Bodies surface in the lake to take our outstretched arms.