The 2River View 24.3 (Spring 2020)

Tanner Lee

New Geography of Faith

These are the years of thy will be done. I pray and listen
and won’t stop listening. Outside Salt Lake, peaks reach

towards God and nestle us like open-grazing hens,
giving us rules and a place to climb, one limb

in front of another, as if carpeted walls
and massed produced pulpits were

places of my understanding, as if they didn’t sprout
from a fault line and ripple the gloss

we no longer see through. My knees are pressed
against the ceiling, Father,

we disagree about ownership.
Though the peaks hear our hymns,

we are shielded by smoke, and we prepare
our gas lamps for a new geography of faith,

where parents don’t fold into their newborn linens,
where there’s not much to compare yourself

except the coming and going, and moments
of realization between vast, compassionate silence.

The Devil Will Keep You From Freezing

You’ll never see him coming. He says forget everything
about being alive. There is more to beauty than erasure.

He tells you in two years your faith will wake up blind
and remove its face. Both eyes will be exposed

like late blooms, and each pink hand plucked and savored.
In the twilight he will sear your skin until every smile

is shadowed in shame. He will drag your polished
shoes to the stairway. You will promise him in rooms

of gold and velvet. When you see others,
approach them. Welcome your death now.

Tanner Lee lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. His poems appear in The Cardiff Review, The Comstock Review, Entropy, Hobart, Weber: The Contemporary West, and West Trade Review. You can find him on twitter @heytannerlee

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