Gnashing Teeth Publishing

| words that get in your teeth

by Natalye Childress

*this poem is in .jpg to preserve formatting

*this is the unformatted text of the poem
after rainer maria rilke

you, the poet, have become
world weary, word-wrought.
and god is all but extinct.

and so you gather your
einsamkeit, your footfall —
so tender — and let them lead you

to a village in a valley,
the furrow of the rhône,
a fortress with crow-stepped
gable, the number six.

it is there, in this first-floor
room, where, for nine months,
something elegiac gestates.

was, wenn verwandlung nicht?

from 100 years and 100 meters
away, across a shared melancholy
of solitude and shadows, i awake
on the cold floor of a votive chapel.

saint agnès tolls her lone bell,
expels me into a february frost
and down a country lane, where

my eyes rise to see
taupe-towering, stone-steady,

and you, under a silver apricot
the formidable canton backdrop of
snowcapped alps.

Natalye Childress (she/her) is a Berlin-based editor, writer, and translator. She has an MA in creative writing, and her first book, The Aftermath of Forever, was published by Microcosm Publishing in 2014. Find her at

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