As One is Alienated By One’s Own Loving Feelings

Shane McCrae

Lord money buys as good as buying love / Lord            the mistake
being the assumption Lord and it’s
A rich            / Person’s mistake
that the importance of            in one’s life money ought to be
Measured by where and not by how it takes one

I live so down in poverty
Money can’t anymore / Far            take me anywhere
Lord but it takes me Lord it takes me
And being poor spending
money is the only            lightly I leave            / For even for a second poverty

and            / Loving my life and being
poor in my life leaving            poverty for even
Lord for a second feels as good
As getting my love back
as owning it

As If a Blinding Angel Goes Always Before Me

Dear Water-            Rat-If-Everything-            / Is-Also-God I can’t and I
Don’t want to look it up imagine
what a water rat / Looks like I picture
a wet rat

Dear Water-Rat-If-Flesh I can
Get Christ from white to tan
And I can get His hair to black and curly            loose curls get
His eyes to brown

and I            / Can get You Lord from glorious most glorious
to a wet rat            / With muddy and mud-colored fur
But I can’t picture Jesus black            / And I’ve seen pictures Lord of Jesus black
and I am black I live

in blackness like            / Somebody sees my seeing for me Lord
Somebody eats it whole

Being Clothed Being

Dear Last-And-Only-Nakedness / Dear Light-
Unlike-Light light            Lord clothes itself
Dear Last

and once being most like light once             being or when / Having been
human momentarily            / Dear Once-And-Is the present tense
Being most like light / Dear Always-

Once-And-Was were most like light when nearest to
When having been available to death
And having died You put Your robe back on

Being most like light then light            / With wounds to put a finger in
Doubt being a property
Of seeing the world

Dear Wholly-Body-Wholly-Wound            / Being clothed being
a property of seeing the world
and continuing to live with it

SHANE McCRAE is the author of Mule, Blood, Forgiveness Forgiveness (forthcoming from Factory Hollow Press), The Animal Too Big to Kill (winner of the 2014 Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor’s Choice Award; forthcoming from Persea Books), and three chapbooks–most recently, Nonfiction. He has received a Whiting Writer’s Award and a fellowship from the NEA, and he teaches at Oberlin College and in the brief-residency MFA program at Spalding University.