I think my body a church
with scaffolded steeple, falling
shingles and missing eaves.

So many birds move into my brain
and I cannot contain them.
I should be condemned.

I meet you and I am not
a dilapidation, anymore.
To you, the holes in my roof

are just bits of sky. I become
the nails’ heads so flush
and proud against wood,

the stained glass’ stark leadlines,
I am my joints,
I am the skeleton frame.

Everything is in its function-
If I am without God
it is because I am meant to be

without God, which is to say,
you make me feel
good about myself,

about the man climbing
the spiral stairs of my throat,
about the ancient bell ringing

its toll, about the birds
bursting from the belfry,
dark, expunged flocks.

 

 02_Green_Local_Church 02

 


 

Shevaun Brannigan is a graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars, as well as The Jimenez-Porter Writers’ House at The University of Maryland. She has had poems appear in such journals as Best New Poets 2012, Lumina, Calyx, Court Green, and Free State Review. She has been an Arts & Letters Poetry Prize finalist, received an honorable mention in So to Speak’s 2012 Poetry Contest, as wellas a Pushcart nomination by Rattle. Shevaun is grateful to Four Chambers for selecting her work for inclusion.

Rebecca Green is a freelance illustrator, gallery artist, stop-motion dabbler, lover of animals and life in general. Her work focuses on the every day, as she loves celebrating small moments that in sum, make up who we are. She also has a serious fascination with party hats. Green is currently working for magazines, books, and other editorial outlets, as well as creating work for galleries, prints, and cards. She resides in Denver with her partner, Matt, and their animal babies, Mori and Junie B. To see more of her work, visit www.myblankpaper.com.

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