Starting the week with a poem

When poet and playwright Arlitia Jones was interviewed last month, she agreed to share one of her newest poems.

Bible Story

You are no longer the child
following your father’s proud back following the word made command
made to bring you to climb the high mountain beyond broad fields of tall crops
where childhood’s bees droned their patriot hymns and gathered and gathered
their golden wealth. You are not the Beloved

anymore, you’re not even liked
by your wife or your kids, your own rat-faced dog. To hell with them.
Your bare chest was startling, a glory, a white corm turned on soil.
What did you think when he told you to close your eyes,
to press your fideistic heart to the sky’s greedy mouth? That it was union?
the exact opposite of a soul
being torn from itself.

These days angels are tardy, or clear dead,
nothing to stop you from joining with spent men in the bar draining out the day,
tightening the bolts on their bitterness, pulling the tabs on their cheap beers—
snap psshh—in your mind at each release the spidery bonds that hold
the night to day, god to the ram, you to god, break and you reel
off into the steep vault where graveled stars gouge your bare feet.
Your children watch you limp

and dodge your wild talk of knives.
You rave his hands big as spades that covered your whole face—
to this day no one can touch you there—finally your wife hauls you to bed
and you dream pale skin, the narrow dent between the ribs, a nipple rigid with fear,
dream the swift upswing of an arm, your arm, dream the blade,
the aim, mark, downward arc
and wake, and awake, turn too late.

–Arlitia Jones

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