Ekphrastic Repose

by Andrew Levine

Jesus and Mary: The Moment After by Trevor Southey

I.
Mary, was there a hint of the breath ready to enter his Hermionean
lips as they moved his clay back to the tomb? His eyes catching
yours. The hollow look, your babe before he inhales again.

Life, deadless, lifeful, death read it right to left, watch as he
sucks vinegar, feel those lips pulling at you, hear the veil
strip itself of the temple and cleft this moment in your heart.

Pray, he raises the fetal corpse, extend the rose to each
turned cheek to give the soul it’s matter once more
forgive Him His ambiguous condescension.

 

II.
Forgive me my Pagan love. I can no longer
criticize the Romans, as I bring my sacraments
to their unknown God with stronger doubts.

Navel to navel, we swirl Samsara around this lotus
and always to the right the maiden of God splits
herself asunder and we consume around that fetal locus.

I wonder there if she wept the wine turned back
to water, turned back to blood. If that endless blood
flowed back to him when I stopped drinking.

 

III.
Forgive him his ambiguous condescension.
The one who burns the Gods of his ancestors,
generously inhales their sacrificial secular smoke.

Pin him to his own tree by the base of his skull,
root me to the floor, gentle gaze of lifeful death,
drive me through the nape, dream me Yggdrasill.

Sacrifice my right hand for the sake of sin
or whatever else it’s worth. Take what you will.
I die daily and still I am disingenuous.