Introduction: Issue 22.3. Elegies/Lamentations/Prayers

Lately, it seems everyone is thinking about death; dying has become quotidian and separate. One or two people are allowed in a hospital room with a covid patient, funerals go off without bells and whistles, and each of us can rattle off the list of souls to whom we have said goodbye, written an elegy for, sung a dirge, a lamentation, a song, cried, yearned to embrace for the last time. And who, now, do we embrace? Who is willing to leap from their virtual windows, rip down the walls of their fear?

These poems look into black spaces and see ultraviolet—sheens of purple and white where others might see blackness. There is something else blooming where death was darkness, sadness, mournful. A new god, dogs that wait in the car, the end of the day fantasizing of transfiguration into ageless forms, winged hearts that are not here but anywhere. These poets place themselves squarely in their surroundings, the stagnant, harsh reality of loss and death, and return to us a song tinted with the howling of street dogs and glistening gods laid bare at the foot of cathedrals. Dear reader, we implore you to pick up a poem, whether you believe in prayer or not, and pray the lyric.


Sara Cahill Marron

Indran Amirthanayagam