August 3rd, 2012

poetry, exceptindreams

1515: The Wife of Jesus Speaks | Mary Karr

"The Wife of Jesus Speaks"
Mary Karr

Ours was the first inch of time.
The word passion hadn't yet been coined,
and I'd not yet watched my beloved

laid out to butchery and worshipped as a virgin, son
of a virgin even. This was before the Roman
bastards hammered his arms wide

as for some permanent embrace,
before the apostles paid me to lie,
he never shuddered to death in my arms, I never

feasted on his flesh that now feeds
any open mouth, and inside me he never released
with a shudder the starry firmaments

and enough unborn creatures to fill an ark
all in salty milk I nursed on.
His God gave us no child

and even the books of salvation have not seen fit
to save me. Not the first woman
a great man denied knowing,

I said no back, for eternity.
With a rope slung over a tree branch,
I put my face inside a zero,

and with a single step clicked off
his beloved world's racket. Now my ghost head bends
sharp to one side, as if in permanent awe.

When he came down to hell and held out
that pale hand for rescue, I turned my back
(the snapped vertebra like a smashed pearl).

So my soul went unharrowed.
In these rosy caverns, you worship
what you want. I have chosen the time

in time's initial measure, history's
virgin parchment, when with his hard
stalk of flesh rocking inside me, I was unwrit.

Before me, I hold no other god.


On this day in...
2011: "Day Dream" by A. S. J. Tessimond
2010: "Four Hours" by Denise Duhamel
2009: "Sentimental Moment or Why Did the Baguette Cross the Road?” by Robert Hershon
2008: Weekend, no poem

Unfurl, uncurl like seaweed returned to the sea