The Snail by Souvankham Thammavongsa


            what it knows of this 

.                               inelegant world, outside 


.              and quietly folds 

                                                 its body 

.                                                               into a small cathedral 


Out here, 

.              you wonder 

.                            what it is praying for 

.    and who, 

.       who will hear 

.                             these small questions 

                                                beneath all this bent bone 


Copyright © Souvankham Thammavongsa. Originally published in CV2 and also appears in Small Arguments (Pedlar Press, 2003).


Souvankham Thammavongsa is a poet and fiction writer, and author of four books of poetry, Cluster (M&S, March 2019), Light (2013) which received the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, Found (2007), and Small Arguments (2003) which won the ReLit Prize. Her stories have appeared in Harper’sGrantaThe Paris ReviewNOONJourney Prize StoriesBest American Nonrequired Reading, and noted as a distinguished story in Best American Short Stories. She is at work on a collection of stories, How to Pronounce Knife, and a novel to be published by Little, Brown (U.S.), M&S/Penguin Random House (Canada), and Bloomsbury (UK).

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