The Body’s Hymn

by | May 7, 2013 | Poetry

We used to sing.

Our voices

Shrill, yet tender,

Under the roof

Of Saint Paul’s. Here

I held your hand

Beneath Mary Magdalene’s

Stained, red glass.

(Why is she red?


Impassioned? Both?)

It felt like a sin,

And, if I’m honest,

I thought of sinning,

Of stealing

Something like a kiss,

Which can’t be

Worse than eating

Something like a body.

My face, though,

My lips, were drawn

Up and away

From you.

But I know you felt

It (how could you

Not?), the sweat

On my palms;

How they shook

Then. Still

They shake when

My body tries to sing.








Photo by Ken Douglas

About The Author

Jonathan Callies

Jonathan Callies is currently a graduate student in English at the University of Chicago, specializing in late Renaissance literature. His work has appeared previously in UCLA’s literary journal “Westwind,” “The Poydras Review,” “Josephine Quarterly,” “Emerge Literary Journal,” and will appear in forthcoming issues of “ARDOR Literature Magazine,” and “Pea River Journal.”