Cathedral of Salt

By Nick Flynn b. 1960 Nick Flynn
Beneath all this I’m carving a cathedral
of salt. I keep

the entrance hidden, no one seems to notice
the hours I’m missing  ...    I’ll

bring you one night, it’s where
I go when I

hang up the phone  ...    

                                      Neither you
nor your soul is waiting for me at

the end of this, I know that, the salt
nearly clear after I

chisel out the pews, the see-through
altar, the opaque

panes of glass that depict the stations of
our cross — Here is the day

we met, here is the day we remember we
met  ...    The air down here

will kill us, some say, some wear paper
masks, some still imagine the air above the green

trees, thick with bees

building solitary nests out of petals. What’s
the name for this? Ineffable? The endless

white will blind you, some say,
but what is there to see we haven’t already

seen? Some say it’s
like poking a stick into a river — you might as well

simply write about the stick.

Or the river.

Source: Poetry (June 2014).

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2014
 Nick  Flynn

Biography

Poet and memoirist Nick Flynn was born in Scituate, Massachusetts. His debut poetry collection, Some Ether (2000), won the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, for which the judges’ statement read: “These poems establish their emotional authority through their very movement—their wayward, whispering music. At once reckless and demure, outrageous and delicate. . . .” Most of the poems in Some Ether focus on Flynn’s tumultuous family life . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Realistic & Complicated, Religion, The Spiritual

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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