Angie O’Neal

“i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?” –Warsan Shire


I try to pray when the northern winds persist,

refuse to relent to the mewling cries on marshlands



Silence falling on deaf ears

asleep on stone pillows.


The nadir of a setting sun sole unit of measurement

in this country,


its monarchies of ice.


I will bring you back to this land.”


Apostasy like walking in water fully clothed,

unnatural as childbirth,

remote as a Lapland fell.


I hear the children on the path flanked



amber pale as the

hull of an ark.


Here, where soon the sun-torched rim of day

will set open into night, this edge of earth

pulsing electric with light—


kingdoms boundless as the breezes blown

through mountain ash, heather purpling in

brooms that sweep the moorlands wild


with harebells; even the melancholy thistle

on roadside verges will come

to save us,


after this mile of winter before dawn.