Words Matter: Lines Written in a Pew

By Anita Tanner



This is how religion kills language:

it mounts a thought,

drives and whips it to a frenzied destination

high on a mountain peak—

the ultimate, unquestioned authority

of words, unaware

how riding wreaks language,

bleeds wounds spurred by desire

here on the peak of performance.


How facile, this peak,

to know a thing, not trust, believe,

or hope for, but know assuredly,

out of touch with the lush valley down below

where words, engendered by gentle teasing,

coax nuanced meaning

broken, mysterious.