by Amy Cannon
if a passionate thought enters my heart how should I reject it?
by contradiction? rebuke? by hastening toward god?
brother the passions are afflictions demons to be cast out
silence is good in every case what more do you want?
when a thought enters cut it short immediately
unending vigilance is required
remember you are earth and shall return to it
empty as the dead reckon yourself as nothing
taking not too little nor too much keep to the simple way
giving up self-trust and self-deceit
die to everyone a true exile
carefree of all you will find god
remain modest do not believe
you have done any good
in unceasing prayer sit and learn to weep
these things will yield a hundredfold
Amy Katherine Cannon is a writer and writing teacher living in Los Angeles. She received her MFA from UC Irvine, where she was the recipient of the Gerard Creative Writing Endowment. She is the author of the mini-chapbook ‘to make a desert’ (Platypus Press, 2016). Her work can be found in BOAAT, BODY, Juked, and LIT, among other places. She is Managing Editor of Palaver Arts Magazine, a student publication.