Hattie Jean Hayes

I finally dream of the cathedral.
The air is stiff for a storm.
I find you at the end of a cigarette
streaming elegia into the dark.

We are in the cellar. I can read music:
inverted braille, pocked-wall vertebrae.
You stroke a dog, belly-up in the dirt.
The grit of penitence dimples your knees.

I would like 
to make, 
of you, 
a believer.

Look at what has failed you: floodwater, circumstance,
the body, the bread and the vow.
Choke slowly. Spill forth
and drown the things that need.

Standing over you I claim
you deserve the nicer cage.
Thunder smothers the dog.
You are survived by your absence. 

Hattie Jean Hayes is a writer and comedian, originally from a small town in Missouri, who now lives in New York. Her work has appeared in Belletrist Magazine, The Conium Review, Hobart, HAD, and Not Deer Magazine. She is working on her first novel.