God of the Mask
by Patrice Boyer Claeys
I wish for the moment when humanity wins—
for I have had too much
pain. Call up in me
lines depicting simple happiness
tide of voices
hymn to life.
Time and fevers burn away
only this life.
Blessed are the men and women—
the beauty of them against these odds.
Cento Sources: Mark Jarman, Bodie James, Robert Frost, Mina Loy, Peter Gizzi, Lynda Hull, Timothy Donnelly, W. H. Auden, Martha Collins, Mong-Lan, Anonymous (Odes of Solomon), Aracelis Girmay
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Patrice Boyer Claeys is the author of two full-length poetry collections, The Machinery of Grace (2020) and Lovely Daughter of the Shattering (2019). Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Zone 3, Glassworks Magazine, Literary Mama, Inflectionist Review, Pirene’s Fountain and Aeolian Harp Anthology 5. Patrice was nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2019) and Best of the Net (2019, 2014). She lives in Chicago and can be found online at www.patriceboyerclaeys.com.