13 March 2007 | Vol. 7, No. 1

Dusk Approaching the Bridge Between

We work in a winter of soon & make do

while we wait for your wife to bring fruit & deli sandwiches

to prove connections best, maintained.

You say our gravity is more audible than an electric

whirr testifying to this wheel's constant spin.

More permanent (our stained palms,

little flecks, laughter like clay

wetting loose strands of my hair—) than nativity figurines

reborn by touch. Over lunch, God

will kneel over this same workbench,

exposed bulb hard like a middle finger raised to the sun:

breathe nostrils & an opening mouth

into the blank face of each figurine,

separate the hands of kings into fingers made for offering,

puncture the shepherds' closed fists

& insert their staffs while we wait.

Sandwich wrappers & small talk disposed, we turn

back to the wheel, uneaten fruit

a secret bruise pressed to our palms

& placed side-by-side on the table. Tiny flickers of dust

chronicle the afternoon sun's

trespass & a brief ellipsis of air gets

accessorized—our needled pores, our small clumsy breaths—

God's signature in the rasp's delicate carve.

About the author:

Jennifer Merrifield's poetry appears in recent or future issues of journals such as Natural Bridge, LIT, and Fourteen Hills, and is anthologized in White Ink and Wild Sweet Notes II: More West Virginia Poetry. An MFA candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University, she is the recipient of the 2006 Columbia Poetry Prize.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Jennifer Merrifield at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 7, No. 1, where "Dusk Approaching the Bridge Between" ran on March 13, 2007. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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