Patty Paine is the author of Grief & Other Animals (Accents Publishing) The Sounding Machine (Accents Publishing), Feral (Imaginary Friend Press), and co-editor of Gathering the Tide: An Anthology of Contemporary Arabian Gulf Poetry (Ithaca Press) and The Donkey Lady and Other Tales from the Arabian Gulf (Berkshire). Her poems, reviews, and interviews have appeared in Blackbird, Gulf Stream, The Journal, The South Dakota Review, and other publications. She is the founding editor of Diode Poetry Journal, and Diode Editions, and is Director of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University, Qatar. 

​​H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L

S O N G   O F   R E P R I E V E

B Y   P A T T Y   P A I N E


Everything thief, 
long lament. Or worse, empty 
cobblestone streets. 

We tease songs from ringing 
bells. Pray merciful 
current hold us
to this world….


Your hand’s a familiar reaching, 
warm as a father’s shirt,
tender as down. So large
your satchel of hurts.

I whisper a flickering  
so you are bathed 
in light.


Each moment is slow 


We bury an orchid’s throat 
in the riverbed’s cemetery 
of broken glass.
You stutter a eulogy.
(Leaf shadow/your mouth.) 


Swept into an abandoned church,
the bereaved make a chorus

of bones. All night 
they sing: aren’t there ghosts
enough, aren’t there ghosts enough….