If there is a thesis to the universe then tongues have no place in it. Angels, I know, don’t have them. They have mouths the way you or I navels: vestigial, defunct. Once pressed to the warm mouth of God. Without tongues, mana settles on the backs of their throats like fireplace smoke in winter. Without tongues, they project. I fell asleep looking on a photo by Richard Drew: “The Falling Man.” That night, I dreamt of children building graham-cracker castles with battlements of nonpareils, which they tip over top of willow fence posts and into the ocean. They are seaside, in the Old Country. In the cold yellow light, John Keane approaches, thumbing his blackthorn shillelagh like a rosary. He cries, as one does in dreams. Outside he is sixty years dead. Outside there are no angels.
DANIEL SCHONNING is currently an MFA candidate at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. He was a finalist for the 2018 Indiana Review Poetry Prize and his work has appeared previously in Seneca Review.