by Ronnie Sirmans
Books can be bitter to the tongue. Pulp and ink will dissolve, leaving an aftertaste maybe salty like similes or sour with metaphors. But oh, this book: These so thin pages, arranged like layers of phyllo yet without honey to bind them, hold such sacrifices and miracles, a whet so savory, so sweet. Reading aloud: Your teeth and lips clash with tongue when pronouncing Father and thy faith. Saying oh before it all teases a brief escape, but the tongue bends to fricatives and vowels at work in our mouths. Reading silently: Like some prayers, these pages turn, intimate, we know God always hears even in giving rest to our tired tongues.
Ronnie Sirmans is an Atlanta print newspaper digital editor whose poetry has appeared in Fathom, Sojourners, Ekstasis, Reformed Journal, America, Heart of Flesh, and elsewhere.