Anne Locke and Key Lime Pie

A poem

By Kristi Wallace 

i know my life is nothing

a cube windowless i

am the willing whore unpaid

unseen relegated to dirt-floor corporate cabins 

waiting for acrid regret to seep 

through narrow vents 

choke me to sleep

aunt eleanor knows i

am a worthless liar

julian of norwich’s rotten sprout

a chord less, off-key anchorite

who skips then careens back

and forth one side of the 

Veil to the other then back 

under my bushel


close and airless i fear these moses

reeds will float it downriver

my brother is dead

the snow in 

Denver is uncaring casual

all of them are there under the canopy

polite heartfelt paid in full so sorry 

so non-denominational no swingin’ low

in this chapel 

poesy belongs to folks who bathe

i am foul i stink of critique

an imposter’s imposter a purple crayon

scribbler an unsolicited informer and a 

backsliding unreliable selfish witness

now my brother is  dead

and damned i may yet be

but i did see them put him in the

ground yes i saw yes yes i was there

the world does not want me but i am

daughter of abraham 

afraid to say no doctor salve will soothe

this one child of el shaddai

unorphaned ember of the unnamed One

now i must cry mercy

i was named for the christ

embarrassed and shamed of my humanity

i cry for mercy i know i do not deserve

my brother is dead and i did see his body

to the ground yes i did yes i was there

burn the bushel basket

i say burn the bushel basket


burn this bushel basket

and leave 

me in peace and 


Kristi Wallace, Ph.D. lives in Eugene.