Frannie Lindsay

Golgotha & Receiving the Host
February 22, 2019 Lindsay Frannie




Then they came and cleansed you my love

with a separate sponge for each arm

each hand and its citizen fingers

each leg and each foot pale as magnolia

and swept a burst of holy wind through your hair

for ease of travel and then they anointed

one of your kerchiefs with tapwater

and made new your chest and belly

and blurred your sex

then they gathered

their competent shadows

and turned you

muscled with tender indifference

your boulder of pain

onto a kinder place and smoothed you

and pressed upon your tongue

a eucharist of ice

and raised the blinds

on the wild and sleeping day


for Holly




Receiving the Host



bless this oatmeal

this ice cream

bless shakes these awful

jammed with calories

thick so you can swallow

thick so you can live

a little longer bless

vanilla just enough

to get the pills down

bless this little ovaltine

mixed in bless every spoon

on which your lips

stll close this straw

that bends so you can live

o bless this syringe this

single liquid

dose as needed

bless this

little longer




for Lizzie

Frannie Lindsay is the author of six volumes of poetry, most recently The Snow’s Wife (CavanKerry Press, 2020) and If Mercy (The Word Works, 2016). She is the winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award, the Perugia Prize, the May Swenson Award, and the Washington Prize. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She has taught numerous workshops on the poetry of grief and trauma. She is also a classical pianist.