Vox Populi

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Martin Edmunds: Personal Mythology

You're Adam. She's Eve.

You fuck up: cannot conceive


Yahweh's anger. Cast east,

weep, nightly thieve then grieve                 


the apple back upon the bough

law proffers but does not allow.


Stand. Raise your eyes and taste

forbidden fruit, the crimson-streaked


flesh, blood, Christ-laced

salvation swallowed with the bait,


Lucifer's candescent hate.

The dove, the dove is razor-beaked.


The rosy dawn descends from her.

You're the whited sepulchre.


A waxworks sweetness rots the hives.

Hang for a sheep, hang for a goat—


How many bellies? Two newborns.

Love irrupts into your lives


—How many bellies? Thistles and thorns.         

Tiller, shepherd, two sons set


the darkness thrumming. Whetstones, knives.                 

Gardener, gardener, learn your craft:


rootstock, scion, scalpel, graft             

the redbud on the Jesse tree,


a Galilean ministry.

No force of nature now can stanch


the petals streaming from the branch.

From Flame in a Stable by Martin Edmunds (Arrowsmith, 2021). Included in Vox Populi with permission.

Martin Edmunds’ poems have appeared in Agni, The New Yorker, The Paris Review and The Nation. Flame in a Stable is his second full-length poetry collection.

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This entry was posted on January 4, 2022 by in Poetry, spirituality and tagged , , , .

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