In mass that first recital, I shook so hard
I spilled my water and forgot
to turn the mic on when I sang
Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah
so no one heard it. I’ve lived
on Primrose Lane my whole life
and I’ve got a home on the other side
of the street, where I’ve heard the sisters
of Saint Francis singing Jordan river’s
deep and wide, Hallelujah at lent time when I’m
adjusting to the sun and the sun’s adjusting
to me. I’ve wondered what it would mean
to walk into their cloister, hear them translate
angel to animal. Their uniform uniforms.
Everyone wants something different but
everyone’s the same. Everyone shows up
to Inspiration Point on the Fourth of July
for the fireworks that shrink the sky.
Everyone stays until the last smoke
disappears and we can see Pike’s Peak again,
or at least the blue shadow on the range.
I’d like to free my joy with fists. I’d like to
punch God in the face. I’d like to find myself
among the women when they sing
Sisters, help me trim the sails, Hallelujah.
Trumpets sound the jubilee, Hallelujah.
Trumpets sound for you and me, Hallelujah.
I’d like to turn into the sun this evening
just to avoid the brightness—just to become
the one instead of the one who feels it.
Alyse Knorr is a queer poet and assistant professor of English at Regis University. She is the author of the poetry collections Mega-City Redux (winner of the Green Mountains Review Poetry Prize), Copper Mother, and Annotated Glass, as well as the non-fiction book Super Mario Bros. 3 and four poetry chapbooks. Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Denver Quarterly, The Cincinnati Review, The Greensboro Review, and ZYZZYVA, among others. She serves as co-editor of Switchback Books.