The Hermit

L. E. Francis


Tear him down from the sky & ask why —
goddamn it, why? — why must we lead
with ‘showing’? Why can we not bury
our ‘knowing’ with the unsaid? Define

our being in mystery & dream ourselves
sacred again? Tendril by tendril, gray & ribbons,
catch hold of his beard & lower his face to face
mine & ask — fucking why? — why is bravery

the new knowledge? Why are we trading in bad takes?
Why can you say the wrong thing at the right volume
& make a career out of it? I can’t count the people

I’ve known with no self awareness, friend. Tell me
what has happened to us to make us so loud & so
sure. Can we never be quiet? Same as death may be,
cold & unknowable, & hard to sell — hear the echoes

of us in it, the lusty roar of the waves as they eat
away the shores of our cities & sweep us out
into & among the dark.





L.E. Francis is a multiple medium procrastinator living among the Washington Cascades. Her poetry has appeared in Mookychick, Nightingale & Sparrow, Marías at Sampaguitas, and Moonchild Magazine. Find her online at