Sam Cha: Hover


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for Gerard Manley Hopkins

I saw a peregrine drift
to the weathervane of the church:

wedge of sky snagged on cross
of rusted copper

there was no ringing, no
golden glory hallowed

crowning—only the bird,
that one and no other,

who huddled against the human
spire, held hammered metal

as if to refute higher airs,
the burnished wind, clang

and carillon of cloud. How sound
seduces us into the sacred—

how we cleave, fail, fall.
Dear blind father dear Jesuit

this is the truth about heaven:
the living sky is feathered,

drab, finite. He likes to eat.
He rips, gouges, tears. Sparrows

fear him, feel heat shimmer
of regard—his hunger—hide.

But he’s only a little thing. He leans
into blank space. White

flashes under his wings, and they
are nothing like a child’s hands

raised in prayer, nothing
like thunder. Something unkind

to metaphor and music holds us
asunder, shears. He disappears.


ART: Teri Frame, Line Kallmayer

FICTION: Matt Dojny, Jessica Halliday, Corey Zeller

NONFICTION: Brandel France de Bravo, Line Kallmayer, Ben Merriman, Nicole Walker

POETRY: Mary Jo Bang, Sam Cha, Ching-In Chen, Natalie Eilbert, John Estes, Jessica Fjeld, Margaret LeMay, Nina Puro, Lauren Russell, Dara-Lyn Shrager, Donna Stonecipher, Henry Walters, Kerri Webster, Betsy Wheeler

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