Claire McQuerry


The wicks are electric
in Iglesia San Dominic.

Sear of filament in glass:
tiny coal, a forty-watt

star. None of your cathedral
glitter, clutter of light

on the paving, this grid
of switches, little

circuit timed to twenty-nine
minutes and after, nothing

whiskered with soot. No remnant
but the afterburn, blue

on the dark globes
of your eyelids. Some

things in life are not meant
for such precision—the snug

dovetail of your joined hands;
the bent maple outside

my window, aflame
with leaf, its sheath

of frost; flickered
approximation of star—that dark

voice, and our reciprocal
lights. Trace elements

in smoke, fine blue
strands that rise, streak

the marbled mouth of a saint.


“Votive” is reprinted from Lacemakers (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012)


Claire McQuerry’s first collection, Lacemakers, was winner of the  Crab Orchard Prize and published in 2012 by Southern Illinois University Press. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Missouri, where she serves as the Contest Editor for The Missouri Review. Her poems have appeared in Mid-American Review, American Literary Review, Western Humanities Review, Louisville Review, Los Angeles Review, and others. She lives in Richland.