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"Pearl Mussel", "Untitled" & "GOD HATES —" (A sonnet) by Hesse Phillips

Pearl Mussel

Do not tell me to heal. I want no poems

that call the wild geese home, or command me,

behold the winter sunset, or, consider

the fox frozen in river-ice. I want no poems

that tell me how to mend, or how to mourn

all the world’s little losses, and little gifts,

I know what we are giving up. Do not tell me,

make peace and grieve. The lifespan of anger is long

in the wild, and if left alone, it will become

a living relic, rooted and sightless in the deep.

If left alone, its small, dark life will outlast by far

this brief season. Is that not reason enough

to let it live?


“GOD HATES —” (A sonnet)

If I believed in God, I would use Him

The way He has been used against me.

Those who have condemned me, I would condemn

From my high pulpit, and rain hellfire down

On what I deem hypocrisy. If I had faith,

I would wield it like a flail, barbed-wire tails,

A velvet grip, soft only to the hand

That holds it. This is all to say, I know

I am no better than my enemies.

I know the human heart to be a sponge—

When squeezed, it oozes whatever substance

It has been soaked in. If mine believed, I would

Seep the same pap as I’ve been fed, I would

Suck up this lake of poison and call it Love.

Hesse Phillips lives in Madrid, Spain. Their poetry and prose have appeared in The Bridport Review, the époque press é-zine, Embark: A Literary Journal for Novelists, and is forthcoming in Emerge Literary Journal and other publications. They were a 2022 finalist in the Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair.

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