Archived: Proposition :: Chelle Costello


I have an idea: let’s every one of us

Walk into a field-

Thistleberry and old tires growing over each other,

Rusted afterthoughts and migratory birds-

And raise our hands to the sky

To implore the great one to tell us why we are.

I am sure that if all of humanity could cry out,

It would finally

Be loud



Because once I thought I heard your voice,

But doubts poke like underwire

And I can’t say this burning across my chest

Will fit much longer.


I know I just compared religion

to a ratty old bra but the analogy

works; It’s meant to hold us up and in,

but maybe it’s also meant to be taken off,

reevaluated, the worn tag barely legible,

Six months of pit stains revealing themselves

(Because anyone who says they launder

More often than that is lying).


And so I, gratefully unencumbered, sleep-

Burrowed in relief and guilt-

And watch for the reconciling

Of hope with reason and

palms with the dirt.


Give me that branch

To pull myself up on.