Leveler Poetry Journal
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the topography of theological narcissism


They made a symbol

of a sleeping canary. We made

a reed basket

of the poor. It was easy

to do—first we killed off

certain creatures.

Then added wings

to others.

A crush of bone fragment

buried into the altar’s maple,

invasive and native as a splinter

or sap—or cloister—-

It was the bone fragment


that made the place holy.

It was the people who believed bone fragment

could make an altar holy, that made the altar holy.

The guns used to kill Oscar Romero


were divinely inspired,

as was the square of clay brick


room he stood in; as were the daffodils

placed at his feet. If the sky is good


and the earth bad,

why do we bury our dead?


Whose neurosis sleeps

beneath them?

Keegan Lester