Volume 14 • Number 2 • Fall-Winter 2022-2023

George M. Perreault

ash wednesday

there are some habits
i could put aside
and surely not alone

though we wear them well
like jeans gone all friendly
soft as a hangman’s hood

it has rained here for hours
the ashes
wishing they were coal

burn us soil to sky
burn us into wingbeats
of whatever soul might be


then comes a morning
invested green and gold

a day they tell your child
he has gone before

what started with fire
ends in the earth

put aside the heavens
here is galilee

even to sail what eye can see
this archipelago of stars

such little mouths we carry
would hollow out our bones

meld us lichen-different things
to live on stones and trees:

lie down as you were born
and know it is enough

a body broken into peace
here in galilee

George Perreault's fifth full-length collection of poetry, lie down as you were born, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books in 2023.