COLLEEN ABEL Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;


– Psalm 12

God learns the new categories:
Pansexual, polyamory, pluralism.
The animals used them first, wordlessly,
and now the humans want them

and want each other in all
the new old ways.

No one sings the sheminith these days.
That much is true. But prayers

still crowd the air. There is so much
want the humans don’t know
how to hold it, it’s like trying to grasp
armfuls of light.

Yes, there are shadows there.
But no gold is pure, not truly, so
let the ones who clamor for that
be bound by their strictures.

Let the rest shine, as it will.


Colleen Abel is the winner of Unicorn Press’ 2015 Editors Prize for her collection Remake, which is forthcoming this spring. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Housewifery (dancing girl press, 2013) and Deviants, which won Sundress Publications’ 2016 Chapbook Prize. A former fellow at University of Wisconsin’s Institute for Creative Writing, her work has appeared in Colorado Review, Pleiades, The Southern Review, Phoebe, West Branch, and many other outlets. She is a 2017-2018 Tulsa Artist Fellow.