Connor Yeck

Sante Fe / / Reliquary 

In the cathedral we pay to see
the tidy undertow of bones

                                                        on velvet. Saintly knuckles,
                                                        & the eyetooth set

like a comet in the pearl
& cedar cross.

                                                        On the way out, you catch
                                                        the no flash placard,

hung above the glass,
& though it's too late

                                                        for either of us, now,
                                                        I know even light
                                                        can be wrong.

No one comes here
this time of year.

                                                        High desert the biggest
                                                        room I have ever seen,

& the mesas' dark tonsures
of pine—such lousy

                                                        preamble for an evening
                                                        just getting to its feet,

& us tripping into another
museum so nearly closed.

                                                        When it's called for, we linger:
                                                        the fiberglass 1:1 Fat Man,

wedding veils stitched
in parachute silk

                                                        & the odd corner table—
                                                        its pond of tempered

glass set like sky over cancerous
coin, belt buckle, golden filling,

                                                        irradiated slivers arranged
                                                        like human-henge.

You put your hand above it all.
But won't lean. Don't say

                                                        to take the picture. I have
                                                        never been more

certain the flash was on.
That light

                                                        will pulverize whatever
                                                        it catches.

Connor Yeck’s poetry can be found or is forthcoming in Best New Poets, Prairie Schooner, T