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___________Jory Mickelson______________

The Annunciation

We lived in a world mostly
unlike the world. We didn’t know
the names of any growing thing
amid the marble pillars & porticos
& the obelisk of the angel’s
ruffling wings. In the ruins
of the oligarchs’ harvesting,
their alpha & omega of greed,
the angel’s come to tell us
something like halleluiah
but we have no music to compare
it to. Something like holy holy
but we look out the building’s
window instead, into the blue
we call moonlight when we mean
to say wound. In a previous version
of this poem, I wrote: an angel
is just an animal
with wings. I wrote: an icon
is just a flatness climbing
its way to heaven, but now
I believe whatever image
you take within you deeply
can mend you over time,
will bend even God’s messenger
down to the empty earth
to teach us the names of each
greening. Bless it’s red
flowering mouths that open
for anyone. In this version
we refuse the offered suffering
content with the difficulties
we’ve managed to gather for
ourselves. Leave the worthy
to their ascent & leave
the remorseful to their repentance.
We say, let God
get up from their creaking
wooden throne & stagger
themselves into the broken
world & teach us to sing. And
to mend while we sing, here
in the dusk & mud.

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