Issue > Poetry
Peter Weltner

Peter Weltner

Peter Weltner has published five books of fiction, three poetry chapbooks, and, most recently, a full length collection of poems, News from the World at My Birth: A History. A collaboration with the artist Galen Garwood, The One-Winged Body, appeared from Marrowstone Press last year. He lives in San Francisco, two blocks from the Pacific.

The Cloisters

A sole soldier strolls the walk where my mother
gazes over to the palisades, silvery as the bridge's
towers. Inside, gold-threaded tapestries
are faded to a comic book's colors, the crucifixes
splintered, Christ's face as pocked by worm holes
as attic beams in our old house. My mother
bows to a relic holder or the lost bones it had once
displayed, stained glass painting her red and green.

In the garden, the air is herb scented. We rest on
a bench to listen to monks chanting in the chapel.
She squeezes my hand. I must be quiet. I turn
six next week. The voices rise and fall like arches.

My mother will die and so will I and I
don't want us to. Like paradise, they sound.

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