Our tree is formless where we lie
uncrucified, and I
at first don’t recognize us, skin paler than I’ve seen
way limbs come fruiting, platform past the turns
we’ve taken to this pool of light to christen something,
breasts spiked open, you displayed as bounty
in a harbor and you say, Don’t you know

that I’m a rabbi?
Then I know us,
then begins the teaching    labyrinth    game
I’d spend my skin to play, harvest
what’s grown under me, come as last arrangement
of limbs that held me open and I die
a gift on the horizon line, gone ashes on shoulder
of the sea, sing
as mongrels have their meal upon my white
gone bones. Like wrestling with the wind, you say,
to talk of earthly things.


Nancy Bevilaqua's poems have appeared in Up the Staircase Quarterly, West Branch, Kentucky Review, Stirring, Whiskey Island, Houseboat, Tinderbox Poetry, and other journals. 

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