Earlier, the sky. The unchurched pigeons holding the sky up by its steeple. Stars made of blown glass blowing off this lip of sky as if the earth’s as flat as Homer envisioned. Oceanus. Or any encircling body. Earlier, a mother. A hand-me-down heaven tattered as any blanket meant to swaddle an entire life. A life still in conversation with that gone body. Earlier, to make loss holy, they called it providence. Now we tend to let the ashes scatter. To make room for whatever comes next, we shoo the pigeons from the steeple holding up the sky & let things fall where they must. Shattered glass underfoot. I guess now we call it gravity. Earlier—
-- John Sibley Williams is the author of four award-winning poetry collections, including The Drowning House, Scale Model of a Country at Dawn, As One Fire Consumes Another, and Skin Memory. A twenty-six-time Pushcart nominee, John is the winner of numerous awards, including the Wabash Prize for Poetry, Philip Booth Award, and Laux/Millar Prize. He serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and founder of the Caesura Poetry Workshop series.