Michelle Bitting


What Mary couldn’t know:
how these moments would come with the boy,
let’s say morning—stalled at a light & slogging through traffic—
minutes chipped away towards crossing guard, gate,
the school bell’s imminent tantrum,
when she would look at him next to her
in the beige metallic womb,
at the cream light pooled around his thigh,
the small sculpture of his hand resting there.
Would find herself wanting to speak to it, yes,
she’d say, mine, all mine,
to the pudgy fingers, their perfect moons
of clipped white nails,
tips’ supple pillows and ten phalange bridges
still pliant with baby fat. Find herself needing
suddenly to lift and touch them to her lips,
sealing in the mother seal. Knowing then
that God and Gabriel could go to hell
for all she cared by god, before she’d give him up
to cross and nail—the bloodsucker’s feast—
to fame, brilliant and confounding as a burning star,
to the beauty of chiseled stone weighing down her cold arms.


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