Name and Order

Angie Macri


She is the root of my harmony,

the musical staff, earthgrazer

on early earth of cattail mats

and shutterdogs, prairie berries,

modulation. Chords stack

as thirds. With my mother, octaves

and tones wingbar our identity.


Topaz leaves a humid way

to look at day on day of beating.

I have seen the split of her ribs

into her dark cavity, and afterwards

the scars on chest, arms, and legs,

where arteries have gone to loop

the beats of what should be


the happiest perfusion. Pray

for the soul, the old stone read

in French, until stolen from behind

the Church of the Holy Family

to be thrown in a horseradish field

or off an overpass, the words

busted away from name and order.


We have walked many times

by what the priests wrote: he who

perseveres until the end will be saved.

Post-on-sill filled with prayer

from when the Mississippi

was known as the river

of the immaculate conception,


and walnut, oak, cypress, sycamore

are held together with wood pegs,

sided over with trendy times

and then stripped back down.

The spirit in the ribs cannot

be seen like artemsia and its tarragon,

hyssop or dill, or the lull

in rusted barbed wire, and mortar

moved from earthquake’s days.

Saved from old fire, the vessels remain.

The monstrance holds the luna

and the sun. The chalice cups

the blood, the paten the host.

The missal holds our text.


Angie Macri was born and raised in southern Illinois and now teaches in Little Rock, Arkansas.  She received her MFA from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.  Her work has been published or is forthcoming in journals including Crab Orchard Review, New Delta Review, and Southern Indiana Review and was featured in The Spoon River Poetry Review.  She was recently awarded an individual artist fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council.