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ChildChildAncilla, gillyflower, cathedral, chime and stone,frightened child, you were only thirteenwhen the dove pecked you,so frightened, I dreamt my belly split open,pain rang like bells in my my bones. Virgin, gillyflower,my child was a gillyflower but she stung,fragile as a wasp's wing she was,she is, cathedral, chime and stone and my mother cried,"How could you, how could you," all the way homebut there is no home, the river tastesof mud and piss. Whore.They called me whore, not virgin, not blessed.I wanted, want to be stone,and my mother wept.
SnakeSnakeMary, fountain of pearl, Ave Maria,this morning, I napped with a garter snake,a green apricot stick.They say you will crushthe serpent's head beneath your heel,a jeweled rattle. The serpentthat flickered in Eve's mind. "Eat,and you shall be like gods."He hissed like an angel's wingand that is why she loved him.The pomegranate's skin was hardbut Eve bit harder, Eva, Ave Maria,the juice stained her hands, a birthmarkof grace not innocence. "Eat,if you want." And that is when she knew.No necessity just choice,no pattern, the scratch and scrape of prophecy.That was what the god knew. He gave usthe power of serpents, a green dizzinessof pain and choice. The snakecurled around Eve's ankle, so supple,a scaled hank of silk, thick as her braid.This morning, my mother braided my hairand kissed my forehead. I stroked the snake's scales,each one a new leaf, the prick of a blueberry bramble,leaving behind my scent, crushed caraway seeds.But the snake will shred her s
BirthBirthBecause he swims in her womb,the water she drinks blurs into wine.Gnats land on her skin, black pearls,they buzz like bells and she smiles.He takes her pain. When she grinds wheat,the pestle scrapes his skin raw.Before he enters the world, he memorizes its pain.But each time, the pain falls fresh,an unbitten pear. Each bite startles him.This is my flesh he thinks.He wants to wake, a cool stone tomb,the end, no more, please.
ResurrectionSevenButterweed, thistles, wild okra snag the angels' wings,leaving long scratches hard as the click of cricket wings.There are seven angels but only one crouches,crushes lemon grass against her grey blue hide.The penny hard sun plows the fields, burning furrowsinto the fields, gilded tattoos. But the angels never burn,their hands are milk smooth. The saved child wants to drink their hands.Perhaps they could cool the heat of becoming.When the fig tree blooms, he gives them the puckered fruit."Eat" he says, "before it withers." But only one angel does,her lips still stinging from the scent of lemon grass.One day she will spout hooves and hair.The others huddle. Fixed, invincible, bewildered,they guard him. But life is as strange as death to them.When the soldiers pound the nails into his fig dark hands,the angels whirl, tunnels of dust, iridescent scales.It is over. Soon death will fuse with life,and both can be abandoned.