Still Life of Goat with Junipers, Palace Walls

Avery Williamson

I wish I could see as God does. An eye without edges, like an ocean, a fan that turns without wind. Tell me the land scars back, and I am it’s peasant. We mar ourselves hard in the spring snow, a bird lands on the juniper branch. Lord, forgive me for living too deliciously, I have seen the fat trimmed back. I thumbed the pages of the good book in the woods. I drank the creek water until my eyes, until my eyes were prayers too. I wish to be the doll on the shelf and the wafer in your drawer. Absolve me from desire, lord. Push the crag towards the sun. In the palace, a woman types on a keyboard. She is wearing a red and black flannel, sweatpants, she smokes. She looks up, the palace walls lined with glass shards, it is beautiful because there are no clouds. And I have seen the juniper trees bend over, I have watched them give their young back to the soil. Lord, I have witnessed the men rake the leaves from the path. And we took pleasure in this work: burn the stores to the ground. Run the bankers from the temple. Let the mad clutch the pearls back. I will lead the charge, drinking butter and singing creek.