Joy in the Cloisters by Sarah Venart

Poem name: Joy in the Cloisters  Poet name: Sarah Venart  Poem begins: We are saved not because we are worthy.  We are saved because we are loved.  –Joy Williams     More than anything I want to take the anonymous subway  anonymously. But when the uniforms approach, I know  they’re looking for me. If they’re looking for my fraud  they’ll find it. Everyone has something. But all I ever wanted  was to travel up to Inwood and touch the Unicorn Tapestry  and see the tapestry’s hero running where she wants,  dipping her wild love into any old stream, her eager hooves splashing  before being stabbed in her pure heart and penned like a beast.  Lesson learned? The more we give, the more likely  we’ll get nothing back. I was once like that—a taker, an owner  of fuck all cares. I refused interviews. No, I refused coffee dates  and interviews. Now it’s the end, I’m past the turn.  In the gift shop and bookstore, I can tell you I stayed a long time,  turning over one book then another. Who wants to leave such a place?  I saw Joy Williams in dark glasses in her author photo.  Who wears dark glasses in an author photo.  Who knows they’re that pure.  End of poem.  Credits: Copyright © Sarah Venart  Previously published in I Am The Big Heart (Brick Books, 2020).  Sarah Venart’s poetry has been published in Numero Cinq, Concrete and River, The New Quarterly, The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, This Magazine, Prism International, and on CBC Radio. She is the author of Woodshedding (Brick Books, 2007) and Neither Apple Nor Pear. Sarah lives in Montreal and teaches writing at John Abbott College.