Mystery, Play and Other Poems


Mystery, Play

Rather than the miracles, one-acts of all the failures—
             Samson’s pillow talk, Cain sacrificing a still life of pomegranates,
                         Sarah offering Hagar as a gift to her husband,


Hagar unable to refuse. I left the religion but kept the sin
             and its images. Keep catching snakes and feeding them apples onstage.
                         After intermission, God’s more recent debacles—


tsunamis, polar bears, the nurse who said my mother could
             go home, the doctor who misread her chart, the dream in which
                         my mother pins herself to the mattress


with hypodermic needles in her wrists—painless, forsaken,
             overprepared for namelessness. Her suffering transformed
                         no one, least of all herself.
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