about the author

Kimberly Ann Southwick is the founder and editor in chief of the literary arts journal Gigantic Sequins. Her poems have appeared in Barrelhouse, Big Lucks, the Broome Street Review, elimae, Word Riot, and PANK. She teaches grammar, literature, and writing to undergraduates. She lives and writes in Philadelphia.

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The Patron Saints

Kimberly Ann Southwick

news from an island: twelve thousand people
are unaccounted for, probably underwater.

they are bodies and bones and sunk, probably, somewhere.
there are superstitions about rivers, loaves of bread

and a dollop of silver. there are rumors
that can raise the dead, myths for rivers,

but none for the ocean. when you think about it,

it’s only one big ocean. somewhere deep
are caves lined with sketches of the saints—

same-shining as those at the Philadelphia
Museum of Art, the halls and halls of them, god—

saints of honesty and saints of motherhood, saints of geometry
and saints of medicine. saints of feminism and saints

of Dadaism, saints that live on picture cards, swim
with whales, don’t know how to die. saints that bless

seas, sneeze honey, harp the dusk to eventide, read
and discuss fascinating novels. saints that drown

out commercials with bleats from a coronet,
rusted from all that saltwater, stolen

from a high school marching band, twelve thousand
strong, and out of tune.

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