When the Veil between the Worlds Is Thinnest
It's aquatic in the knife-sharp cold.
A whore comes out of the ice-sheathed forest.
A virgin balances in the sun-lit litter.
Holiness sputters in painted-over words.
The law is painted over with graffiti, and the witches
talk louder than the con men.
The fresh-picked marigolds begin their drooping.
Carved pumpkins lose their grins.
The sun shuts its eye and the woman down the street
gets her security deposit back. On the other hand
she watches the television bloom red
with forest fires.
A whore disappears in the smoke. And a virgin.
Susan Landgraf was awarded a $50,000 Poets Laureate grant from the Academy of American Poets in 2020. Two Sylvias Press published The Inspired Poet, a writing exercise book, in 2019. More than 400 poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Margie, Nimrod, and others. Books include What We Bury Changes the Ground and Other Voices.