What It Is to Sin

by Christina Stoddard

We are born animal. Each of us
would put a javelin
in the heart of a king.

As I suspected, the moon
is mute. There are only
my human hands

and my chitin heart
to help me learn to love.

The martyr will bleed like paint dripped in water
while more blessings crowd his mouth.

I was like you once, so full
of conviction. An army
standing in readiness.

The wildness is so close. It is
bound to reach us
one way or another.

CHRISTINA STODDARD’s debut collection, Hive, won the 2015 Brittingham Prize in Poetry and is forthcoming from the University of Wisconsin Press. Recent work appears in Tupelo Quarterly, DIAGRAM, and Spoon River Poetry Review. Christina lives in Nashville, TN, and is the Managing Editor of a scholarly journal in economics and decision theory. christinastoddard.com.