Footprints / On Religion – by KELLI SIMPSON

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I’d like to slap that apple out of her hand

and grind the old boa to grease beneath my boot.

Here’s another girl, innocent as Eve, believing herself to be a snake charmer.

But, see, she’s the one swaying and charmed –

disarmed by his handsome

slither and hiss.


Look, this garden is old –

old as worlds and wombs;

sweet as God’s first kiss;

unchanging as sparrows and swallows.


So, yes, I’d love to slap that apple right out of her hand,

but I’d just drive her closer to the tree.

I have to let it be.

After all, it’s my footprints she followed.


On Religion


Let sweat be your sacrament.

Tithe only dirt to bones.

Know the difference

between manna

and meat.


Be quick

to bare a breast

for suckling stars.


when the sky

cuts teeth.



Kelli Simpson is the co-author of two poetry collections: Gemini / Scorpio / Capricornand Three Note Howl: The Wild Hunt.  Her poems have most recently appeared in Sugar Mule. She lives in Norman, Oklahoma, where she mothers, gardens, and treats herself to chocolate as often as possible. You can find her at

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