Friday, 3 March 2017

God Must Be a Beautiful and Lonely Outcast by Kyle Hemmings

Painting by Norman J. Olson

For a moment,
she forgets that her body
is the bark of a decaying yew
or the egrets
that once rested on her branches,
once light as Peruvian lilies,
bring only tiny jolts of pain.
They snatch a bite of her flesh.
Their nest is somewhere else.
They leave her with
a jagged line of imprints.
I know I know she says.
She won’t send me away.

This afternoon’s love
will be like morphine
and only a dose.
I think of the drip rate
of rain over crowded cities
their underbellies.
This scorned harlot of a body
was once conjured
from the River Pishon
and I was the first and last man
in Eden. If I ask her to undress,
will she? Will it be too painful?
And this forbidden apple we eat
never tasted as sweet as today,
our slow dying, unfolding.
I can hear that river breathe.

from the chapbook Séance, mgv2>publishing, 2013

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