The Paris Review

Patricia Smith

YOU’RE GONNA WRITE THIS

but which verbs do you employ when it’s clear that you are trying
to side-eye murder your mother, when you are the chilling moral

of every blazing Sunday sermon, when you are nothingless than blasphemy blown wide? How you do lift the bleating

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KENDRA ALLEN is the author of the essay collection When You Learn the Alphabet. A book of poems, The Collection Plate, will be published by Ecco this summer. SHERI BENNING’s fourth collection of poetry, Field Requiem, is forthcoming from Carcanet. RO