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  Table of contents Issue Twenty PRIEST


“What you must know,”
he said, his hands beneath the desk
the scrape of wood on wood
the snow through the window
the other kids walking home
“is that God is everywhere
and nowhere all at once.”
the priest pulled a mason jar from his desk complete
with a nest of spiders nestled inside
“God is a ghost and a memory”
the lid opened with a silent breath
of death and dreaming
and his hand entered the web
“God is not the light in darkness,
God is the residual burn of a lightbulb
when you’ve stared at it too long.”
the spiders crawled along his bony knuckles
along the veins in his hand
hundreds of them
their black legs like eyelashes
and I thought about how each and every one looked just like that
a hundred eyelashes on the priest’s hands
with a finger on his lips
he said
“God is absence
God is longing.”
the spiders crawled across his teeth
the dark cavern of his mouth
a hole not just in a body
but in the world itself




Blake Austin is a writer/poet from New Jersey. He has previously been published as a journalist in publications such as Infectious Magazine and his poetry has appeared in Asinine Poetry.

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