HOME
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
STAFF BIOS
BLOG
LINKS
Summer 2010
POETRY
FICTION
COLUMNS
NON-FICTION
CONTRIBUTORS
EDITORIAL
ARCHIVES
CONTACT US
Poetry

Abram

Brent Mesick

Abraham
held the knife
to the boy’s throat
with a shepherd’s
detachment
yet paused
just the same
at the slight
difference
of it all.
Which portion
to keep
and which
to burn?
To siphon
the blood
or to let it drip?

The inexactitude
forced a rift
and Abraham
looked to the sky
in thought.
The prophetic musings
of elderly man
called him
from the heavens
to say “look,
lay not thy hand
upon the lad
and behold
the blessings
blessed thee.”

Abraham’s
tendons tightened
in his stretched hand,
his face shimmered in sweat
and light.
He foresaw
the great nations
promised him,
and myriad people
following his lord,
and three religions
sprung from his loins . . .

and jihads
and crusades
and cleansings, and riches
culled from the lands,
and the one land
culling the people
of many lands,

and Abraham saw
Hiroshima
and Viet Nam,
and El Salvador.
Abraham saw Panama,
and Sudan,
and Somalia…
and Kosovo,
and Afghanistan,
and Iraq …

and maggots feeding on people,
and severed breasts clutched by children’s lips,
and charred bones wrapped in leathered skin,
and gray children, hairless and skeletal,

and Abraham saw
his son David steal the wives
and houses of his neighbors,
and his son Jesus honor houses of money
over houses of prayer,
and his son Mohammed, muted,
thrash at the doors of his own house,

and Abraham saw obese people
in air-conditioned rooms watching television,
watching the soldiers and missiles dance,

and Abraham saw
the transparent wall of the Apocalypse,

and Abram
let slip the knife
and let drip the blood
there
and only there.

RETURN TO POETRY INDEX >