To the Stone Poets of Iowa City

I regained my belief in God stark naked on an Iowa riverbank
Lined with the sequence of the moon
Held on high above rusted lamp-posts
Flickering with desperation

We were not the type to drift
Aimless along the illuminated path
We stuck our heels in the grime
Or back-alleys and side-streets
Alive with the cloudy eyes and empty smiles
Of the city’s homeless
And we pushed

Pushed down onto the ideas
We dismissed so eagerly sober
That the world is a wooden box
Our every step
A new scrape upon the surface

That potential is a limitation 
That or upbringing defines the inverse of our reality

We fall victim to the fatal temptation of true affection
Of freedom and energy
And the words come in bursts
Pour gasoline on our future
And laugh at the open flame

– Ethan DeLehman, The Haverford School, Class of 2016

Heart of God

Fall in love with me in an abandoned church
Where the old-heads congregate on Wednesdays
To share in their sobriety

Collapse breathless on the couch
Reveling in its loose threads and faded material
Yet the pattern remains
Perfect and bizarre
Muddled brown backdrop with flittering light pain-stakingly stitched
By a woman whose story is lost
In the gradual formation of memory

She is there with us
In appreciation
Our drunk-on-life tendencies
Her object of desire

Our struggle comes not in long hours
Fragmented visions of success
Not yet
The collapse of blissful youth births arbitrary thoughts
Existentialism and the idea
Our true selves will never be so
Lost in the brisk wind of passing time

And we compare
The ghosts of prior congregations
Watching us belittle our problems
Finding solace only in silence and sunbeams
Piercing the stained-glass windows in early morning

– Ethan DeLehman, Class of 2016