You Made Me Lowered

by Freya Wilson

You made me lowered,
When you splayed your hands to cut the light
And showed me how to trace the night –
And I made my paper gods.
The jagged bottle, shackles, ashes:
Candles and dust
Strings coiled with rust.

I remember you played for me
And the slits of your words
Beat time, your nickel and dime
Daughter, wrought her
From the water where I wept
Corkscrewed my hair
Stitched the weave, deft
One stitch for every sin, you vowed
And you gone.

I made my paper gods.
The jagged bottle, shackles, ashes:
Candles and dust
Strings coiled with rust.

I remember your strip light eyes
And the jolt of your pulse
Struck nails, your ship masts and sails
You lied, eyes wide,
Said we should fill our vessel
With fish backbone
Dried rose, your pocket bible
Not deep to scoop the water, you vowed
And you gone.

But I am trying not to forget
What went before
You wrote the law
On Sinai stone, before you let
Me be lowered.

I made my paper gods,
The jagged bottle, shackles, ashes,
Candles and dust
Strings coiled with rust.