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Where in the church of the mind,
the mind’s sawn down trees,
where hardwood’s stacked up,
quartered and milled where under the nave
the painting is placed,
in the left-hand side aisle,
the viewpoint from which one approaches the altar
do the putti recover us and give us wings?
The figures are over life size,
their heart beats thump through the church
in the direction of the brushstroke,
drift at the edge of fields left to the shape it takes.
Sometimes it’s rain the reach of rain.
Sometimes it’s purer, less mixed. Jubilance.
I feel it running down the hill in the rain
running so as not to get wet but getting wet.
Pause to tie my shoelace,
as if, tying it, I might actually pull together—finding it undone.
Harriet Levin was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to first-generation Eastern European Jewish immigrants. She received her BA in English and Russian at Temple University and her MFA from the University of Iowa, where she also translated works for writers in the International Writing Program.