Is it a sin to ask for the simple faith
of birds?

On the back deck at dusk.
Autumn quietly convinces the tree line
to take up less and less of the sky.
We set out the plates,
the candles, the wine.

Is it a sin to imagine the burning bush
as arson?

Rain, tonight, will slip between the boards
coaxing worms to cross bare earth,
and to twist into smooth, wet shapes.
Letters in God’s secret alphabet.
They will believe they are finally
under safe, empty skies.

Is it a sin to even consider an alchemy
of descent?

This poem first appeared in The Shoutflower (Spring, 2021)