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Psalm 91

By James J. Siegel

-- for Sinéad

Wouldn’t we all rip the pope to pieces

if we could? Nothing compares

to his vestments drawn and quartered

on live TV like the breaking of bread,


There goes his head,

there go his hands.

And in the end what did it end?

One voice silenced for the silent

to finally speak. Truth.

Power to the powerless. Yes,

even you can tread upon

the lion and the cobra.

What has been ripped apart

will return as feathers

and under those wings you will find



James J. Siegel is a Pushcart-nominated poet and author of the poetry collections “The God of San Francisco” (Sibling Rivalry Press) and “How Ghosts Travel (Spuyten Duyvil),” which was a finalist for an Ohioana Library Award. He is the host and curator of the monthly Literary Speakeasy show at Martuni’s piano bar in San Francisco, which recently celebrated eight years. His poems have been featured in several journals and anthologies, including the Cortland Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, HIV Here & Now, Foglifter, Divining Divas: 100 Gay Men On Their Muses, and more. Instagram.


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