Letters to my childhood god By Brynn Cook

Letters to my childhood god

chin tucked to knees
on cold brick in the morning devotion inside this
oversized sweater my hand
seeking warmth

between thighs baptized
by petrichor by sink water rising
up sleeves immutable the way a bible
calls the hands to pray cup the spine
of a newborn mother’s voice
in print sustained us in Numbers

with honey sweet hovering
I’m addicted to prayer splayed
in a dopamine puddle my tongue
a paradox probing gaps

you didn’t text back

red earth red dress mother’s hands
cup mine notch the belly finger deep
root seeds of bitterness

come nest in my lungs
raw in worship your name
exhaled is sore-throat hot
sweet-rot a succulent
kind of ugly you said

we would day trip to Rome Trevi &gelato
Daphne&Apollo your mother
would love me you said
you would always be chasing me

I sent you pictures they were
upside down my navel bared
umbilical tendrils growing inflamed you
were nourished in belief
that could yank me to heaven I’ve been there
before my chin pressing bruises

By Brynn Cook


Brynn Cook was born and raised in Southern California, leaving to spend six years pursuing her PhD at the University of Virginia. Brynn has now returned to her home state, and currently lives with her husband and twin sister in the best possible shelter-in-place scenario. Brynn has been published in Chaparral poetry, and writes poetry with the hope of one day distilling the strange call of warm October winds.

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