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Ferment, Roxy Paine, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

      you do not strike
down the center of my body
     and convulse me
into praise.
     You hook me
like a dendrite branch,
     slowly, craggily wrapping
around my bones.
     I cannot reach out my hand
without meeting
     the stainless steel loop of you
between my fingers,
     your tongue of fire split
into a thousand silver

(Front page image courtesy Nelson Atkins)

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Tania Runyan :
Tania Runyan is the author of A Thousand Vessels, Simple Weight, and Delicious Air, which was awarded Book of the Year by the Conference on Christianity and Literature in 2007. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in many publications, including Poetry, Image, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Christian Century, Atlanta Review, Indiana Review, Willow Springs, Nimrod, Southern Poetry Review, Poetry Northwest, and the anthology A Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare. She was awarded an NEA Literature Fellowship in 2011.