Spiritual Recession

by Suzanne Highland

my god made me a brutalist. an
idolizer of concrete instead of
autumn. disciple of architecture
isolating one window from the
next. my god still drops into my
dreams sometimes as a small
safe or an ankle monitor.
reciprocates my loyalty by
shoving my face in it. even the
trees behave more consistently.
what once flapped from center
saw its wings plucked. i pored
over the book & the word i
landed on was provincial. my
god held a chisel & abstracted
me of form til i was oriented
toward utter devotion. & in my
best dreams i still am. in those
dreams even the buildings talk
to each other. in those dreams
you give me the word & the
word is right. i look at my toast
like so what. i look at my feet
like so what, they bleed.

Suzanne Highland is a queer writer and teacher from Florida currently living in New York. She has an MFA in Poetry from Hunter College, where she received the Miriam Weinberg Richter Memorial Award in 2016. She has also received support from the Sundress Academy of the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and Brooklyn Poets, where she was a fellow in the summer of 2018. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Willow Springs, Yalobusha Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, glitterMOB, and Bomb Cyclone, among others. She teaches critical writing to high schoolers as well as composition at Hunter College, and she is a mentor and teaching artist with Urban Word NYC. Visit her online at suzannehighland.com and @emotingsweater.