A woman whispers the alphabet

into a balled-up coat. Somewhere

in the letters, a code that could click

open the sky and God would drop down

and breathe life into the dead, paralyze

the enemy, restore the linens and dishes,

return the keys, apologize.




Linda Hillringhouse was a first-place winner of the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award (2014) and the second-place winner of Nimrod’s Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry (2012). She has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.