Then he was here.
Curtains slashed, a sound like hair
on fire. Telling me about
a sword to pierce my heart.
But I was distracted by the rain
from the open window
collecting an aqueduct between the scutes
of his abdomen and over his shoulders,
that place where skin
sprouts wings. Let alone not believing
that what I most feared
was a lit Jerusalem, a place where
temptation wears tattoos,
a heaven for those without one.
Calling out to that thing
hammocked between thighs, he entered
my dreams, this red-bearded messenger,
to the field where I’m forever
returning. Always the expected
surprise of him, his hands opened
like offerings, as if decision
had anything to do with this. Let it be,
I said, I am your handmaiden now.
On the footbeaten path between
cornstalks, bent on a coyote wail,
these visitations went on for months,
his wings corralling about our bodies
as he annunciated
over clay roofs, maize bodices,
my mouth full of pollen.
After he fondled me female,
he left me
salted, awakened, my fingers
trailing the bedroom floor. How my chest
hurt then, this heart-thrum
that sickens me, this
my favorite seizure.
In my dream about a man,
I dreamed about his cloth swath,
his angel swag, the wake his wings
left in snow.
Gabriel, you dreadful bird,
what choice did I have?
Always speaking for the one
to come after, leaving me
with a clutch of feathers.
Take back the rain
puddling on your shoulders,
your slow pronunciation. Do not tell me
I am favored by God.