The Egypt of Mary’s Womb

A small town.  A back door.
A young woman at her work
chopping, searing, holding.
A flash, not so much of light, as
the chorus of sight that light trails
as it passes by.  A strange
word, an aspiration,
a slight bow of the head,
a warm wrapping of wings.
There will be lions, later.
There will be swords.
But tonight, your flesh
is reed and pitch,
bitumen and straw,
floating on the great river,
eyes open, naming,
one by one, all the stars
of the vast, quaking world.

*Title from a poem by Robert Bly

 

Patrick HanselPatrick Cabello Hansel has had poems, short stories, and essays published in over 30 anthologies and journals, including Painted Bride Quarterly, Ilanot Review, subprimal, and Hawai’i Pacific Review.  He was a 2008-2009 Loft Literary Center (MN) mentee and a 2011 grantee of the MN State Art Board. His novella Searching was serialized in 33 issues of The Alley News. He is the editor of The Phoenix of Phillips, a new literary magazine for and by people of Phillips, the most diverse neighborhood in Minneapolis.