Get our latest essays, archival selections, reading lists, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Pilgrims, still pilgrims, still come poor pilgrims,
at night to bring the howling house a door,
the burning man a sigh for his dry soul,
the children rebel poems turned to hymns.
From shrine to shrine, and farm to field, they go
for each of us who sleep in those enormous
ghosts of clothes the wanted-for and to-dust-
relinquished leave behind. They whisper zero
is a number too, and dip their hair
in Nameless Creek and shout down to us the way
to follow, one by one and O by O.
But by the morning we have not gone there.
The houses shrill their vowels; the grass quails.
There is no going, or a way to go.
Vital reading on politics, literature, and more in your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter, Monthly Roundup, and event notifications.
Support us with a donation this giving season.
Robin D. G. Kelley on the midterm elections.
What we have achieved this year—and our plans for 2023.