20 November 2006 | Vol. 6, No. 3

And This Is What Happened

With an experimental gaze and hobnobbery,

with saintly bad judgment and piss-poor sense,

I pilgrimed to a field in my own dire distance

where above, a billion or more little brights flared up

before they disappeared. That was the year I thought

I was going insane. Help, I said plainly.

I am having a mild case of the heartbreak.

When I looked at the fissure, all was glass and mistaken.

This, I blamed on the Seraphs: their six-fold wingspans,

their swallowtails. I slept on blunted nails

for thirty-odd Septembers. How this won the angels over

I can't say I remember, but something holy groaned

through the bliss of my mischief. And that was enough.

The scruff of a wild man's beard chafed red

my hotbed thighs, and the ache of my tongue intoned psalms

that it heretofore hated. Finally, I was elated. For,

there was no one left but me and God, it seemed.

And I was the woman in His wet dream.

About the author:

Jill Alexander Essbaum's newest collection, Harlot, is available from No Tell Books.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Jill Alexander Essbaum at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 6, No. 3, where "And This Is What Happened" ran on November 20, 2006. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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