is an online magazine of the literary arts.
2 December 2004 | Vol. 4, No. 4
(Because) The Jesus Tree (Is Not a Tree, But a Switch to Hold Up the Moon)
The man stands on a birdbath to learn
the language of feathers, and like the wind,
when the man speaks, he reaches
deep into his pockets to charm the sky.
Water when it comes, comes slowly,
as it always does, at night, when the cardinal
eats the last of the elderberries
to turn its blood heavenward and sigh,
darling, why do you resist dreaming
the stars' neglected deaths? Each time the man
finds excess in the flights of birds—talisman,
devil-devil—a spell colder than the crow's caw
pitches to ground. And like the water,
when it does fall, it finds some sudden
vernacular to call its Salem,
ward off witches, hitch wind song:
The winter the town grew slack-bellied and blank,
a yellow bird softer than the children
flew from field. When the moon cut herself
into kindling, she sang Old Woman, Old Woman,
give me your wood, Judas is hung from the branches.
About the author:
Stacy Kidd recently completed an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Arkansas, where she held the Walton Fellowship in Poetry. Currently a Lecturer in English at Oklahoma State University, Stacy has most recently published in DMQ Review and Verse Daily.