Poem Of The Month: April 2012

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For April's Poem of the Month, I have chosen Pax by Kate Ashton.

It is taken from her collection The Concourse of Virgins.



His face the face of the prodigal, wearing his wanderings like

forbidden history, sand-spun anteroom

of Bedouin birth, indigo-swept sunset of nomad

smile at sudden death of day, as if he lay down once and let his

soul float free of gravity, the caravan that sways

against bedazzled topaz spies his whiteness in sparse

submission to the sky. The one he dreamed he was in life offers a

kiss, a sip of wine, a wafer pale as betrayal

and many ways to turn away, and in his eyes hot rage

and terror of exile. I take him thoroughly in who stood and

begged before all doors – see what he makes of me –

his gaze the veil which shimmering reveals the seen

to its own self, so that I tremble into life charged by asymmetry,

conceived in the Prophet’s caress,

engendered mouth to mouth and born as difference

into this flesh. And given in a glance with wisdom of the wound

comes timid faith in frail undress

with arms out-thrown to catch the nail or bless, embrace

with bloodied frown the one who searched:

the perpetrator and the found.

Copyright © Kate Ashton 2012

All rights reserved

The author has asserted her/his right under Section 77

of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988.