Willie Lee Kinard III




we had seen the ghost roused before / quietly / one choir,

near hundredfold / humming / just one / forgotten,

at the altar / clouds parting after the last hymn / we had seen

a song bruised before / bled / like a stone / splintering

at every verse / blood showering / same choir, stoic / begging

to be near only one cross / i, thief-like / as if to make it more

convincing / we had seen a person gifted before / boxed up /

casket, offered / tinted blue / as if to make it more convincing /

no sanguine prelude / no tune on tap / only cracked reeds,

rustling / the sputtering of soil / slowly opening / to all

present without wine / ground hollering / here, you fools, here /

we had never seen so many lie at a funeral / but we had seen a god

petitioned before / persuaded / crawling, thick & balmy /

summoned / out of sixty or so mouths / hungry


WILLIE LEE KINARD III (he/they) is a poet, art director, & sound artist forged in Newberry, South Carolina. With words in or forthcoming in POETRYHayden’s Ferry ReviewShade Literary Arts, & elsewhere, he holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Pittsburgh & serves as a cohost of the forthcoming podcast, For the Scribes. Go see ’bout them at www.williekinard.com.