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