An Altar in the World

by Stacy Boe Miller

I pick up a stone and name it

Every time you’ve hurt me. I keep it

in my mouth, let it click

against my teeth. The feather tangled

in my hair is from a country

called Your father’s dying. Someday

I will be enough feather and tangle

to lift myself away. The hawk-scream

through my window is My grandfather

used to pray for me. Holy oil

from a jar inside his shirt pocket

rides the currents of my skin. Some

things have no names yet: the pine arrow,

the robin’s beak, the washer on a string

that could break any moment.