Bodily Assumption and
Other Poems

Bodily Assumption

Home where you were born
             trees clothe the mountains—

can’t see sky for fog—clothe
             you said—tonight accept

steam rising—shower curtain
             clinging to your legs—hair

down your back like a medieval
             altarpiece you found online,

of Mary Magdalene rising
             over a frozen rippled river—

naked—covered in thick hair
             everywhere but her breasts—

you’ve gone months without
             touch—this morning a man

was selling apples from boxes
             marked trout—you took one

shiny and freckled—passed a bill
             hand to hand—your whole life

yes and no have been circling
             the lay of—the way of God—

you have no choice but to accept—
             Magdalene in heaven combs

her pelt—when your dog ran away
             your father searched in the rain

found her—laid her on a towel—
             just to look at her—mud-flecked

shaking there—steam rising off
             her fur—hurt and you couldn’t

St. Helens

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