God’s angry with the world again,
unable to sleep, to pray. As the road winds,
he dines alone surrounded by reflections,

his dolls destroyed, sprawled in a pigsty.
We lay roses on his grave, listen for sounds
of cannons in rooms grotesque with furniture

of snow. Through my bedroom’s window
appear puzzled faces between the dying elms,
dark as if cloven from darkness.


“Agnosticism” is a cento comprised of lines—or variations on them—of the poems of Robert Hayden (Collected Poems, 1985)

Lynne Thompson is the author of Start With a Small Guitar and Beg No Pardon, winner of the Perugia Book Award and the Great Lakes Colleges New Writers Award. In 2018, Jane Hirshfield selected Thompson’s manuscript Fretwork as the winner of the Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize. A 2015-16 Individual Artist Fellow for the City of Los Angeles, her recent work appears or is forthcoming in Poetry, Pleiades, Black Renaissance Noire, and Colorado Review as well as the anthology Nasty Women Poets, An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse. Thompson is Reviews and Essays Editor for the journal, Spillway.