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  • Christ in the Desert
  • Cathy Strisik (bio)

…and though they see color through stainglass above themselves as if a birdswirled dreamlike against a flat skyand though not made you accidentaland sensuous slow formagainst red-rayed canyon, hairuncombed called by a name not your ownand cows long-tongued sacreds—

Listen again. Hear coyotesmeant to guide, the whole canyonsinged and the dipping monks.On gravel light breaks. Now you seethe undwelt monastery, arrangediridescence on your hosts’ faceswho journey each day into the rawhush of the bitter precious sinnersand though attempt to stare aheadshielded from an unease not aimedto warmly shame them—

They do desireagainst their solitudeyour trembling tongue.When they walk their good earto delicate messengers they thinkof scissors and no skylark hereand of cutting each other’shair the Pinon’s whipped barkleft out to drain. [End Page 111] And though votives melt into yourmouth beeswax, the monks molt, straintheir heads always toward the river’s currentas if their ecstasy revealsyour dissolve. [End Page 112]

Cathy Strisik

Catherine Strisik is author of Thousand-Cricket Song (Plain View Press, 2010); her manuscripts in progress have placed as finalists and semifinalists in many national poetry contests including the Vassar Miller Poetry Prize, Cleveland State Poetry Prize, University of Wisconsin Poetry Series, Kore Press, the Washington Prize, and WordWorks Poetry Prize. She has recently completed her third collection, The Mistress. Active in the Taos poetry community for more than thirty years, Strisik has received grants, honors, and prizes from Peregrine, Comstock Review, and the Puffin Foundation, as well as a residency at the Vermont Studio Center. Her many publication credits include Drunken-boat, Tusculum Review, Comstock Review, Awakenings Review, Cider Press Review, Studio, and others. She is co-editor of the online journal Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art.



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pp. 111-112
Launched on MUSE
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