The Blood’s Unwritable Psalm
The poem takes its title from a line of Larry Levis’s (you’ll find it if you read The Darkening Trapeze). And I wrote it while living in Iowa City, whose trees hum in the summer with cicadas. I suppose I was thinking about trees a lot but also prayer when I wrote it, how physical the voice can seem in such moments, as though it were robing you—or even composing your body altogether. Even though I don’t believe or disbelieve in a god or master designer-of-the-universe, I like this idea of the word becoming flesh, which we get, among other places, in the book of John.
Devon Walker-Figueroa is the author of Philomath (Milkweed, 2021), selected by Sally Keith for the National Poetry Series, and of the chapbook, So Lame (Berfeois, 2019). Her work has appeared in The Nation, Poetry, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She is the current Jill Davis Fellow in fiction at NYU, where she teaches undergraduate creative writing.