MARY’S HOLDING JESUS, NOT LIKE A GOD BUT LIKE A BABY, LIKE I WOULD HOLD MY BABY, AND THEY ARE COVERED IN GOLD LIGHT, by MARY ACRE

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After David Jones

Mary is blue and turquoise
standing on a hill
geisha cheek and charring
Mary is rain and dusk
planting a bulb with her lips
bare feet in the moss
kindling
Mary is doll white
Mary with a lamb
little love
time still before she’ll lose him to the world
the gurning jaws of heaven
spread banquet for the men while she waits outside
but they won’t know his yawn like a baby owl
meerkat snuggle
smell of yeast and balm
Mary blue and brimming
the lamb on her lips
a soft moon
crescent of impossible flesh
Mary gold before the trade-off
before he grew infinite
and how she wore it then
stately
metallic
secretly grieving the moon eyes
that would follow her round the room
Mary doesn’t remember what sex with god felt like
only the sting of something snapped
a broken instrument
Joseph’s breath and beard
three men unwrapping
the infant screech of a goat
Mary with thunder that’s worse before the coming
like a week late period
Mary blue immaculate
blanketed boy on her chest
gone and golden
Mary would listen to all his sermons
scan them for in jokes
white smoke
a secret message
anything
but this fucking public man
Mary doesn’t feel holy
stuffing pigskin in bloody knickers
remembers how she bled for weeks after he came
Mary full of wine
not the warm waters of galilee
assistant magi
tipsy and trussed up
leotard shine
Mary and thirteen men on her right hand
Mary with a lamb crackling on a spit
when he blessed her
she wanted to spit in his face
tell him boy
i’m the one who wiped away your shit
when the moon came
she sank her teeth in
praying for the sweet bellied child
she tasted wafer dust
her blue mouth powder stuck
dry as an empty church

First published in Tears in the Fence. Amy Acre is a poet, performer and freelance writer from London, and the editor of Bad Betty Press.

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