“The Reading” by Emily Elizabeth Bellor


The sheep may sit in the church,

quieting their hooves on the

wooden panels below so as not to

disturb the worship of their

They may sip red wine,

and drag stigarettes

to the reading,


a ceremony

so each sheep may try

their sheeply best to become

an ivyory sheep

(use another metaphor, you dumb bitch!)

Sucking stigs through blood

as a form of prayer


But then



A young lamb howls

And drags his hooves through the wood

on his way to

He bites the hand of the

one sent to shear

his wool and






rips from his

little lungs and veins as

the glasses of wine

shed their linings

and bleed red and

the stigarettes fall


all the sheep dance

in a wild frenzy

through a crimson church.

“The earth,” he says,

“is not a fucking apple.”


Poems curated by FORTH poetry editors.

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