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 God of the Vine
My followers seemed to be in motion,
their mise en place, revels: dance, torn throat. My foot stretched with age. But I was stuck.
I am no cartoon, emerging
unscarred from the twirling, crafty endurance of a character larger than life
and the devilish climates—blast, swelter, damp, drought, frost—can be stoppers of fracas, of chill generated from within.
My mother, a goner. Born in that clap of illumination, I must tell you
my heart’s true love was the quiet life.
I fainted on the donkey’s back, dreamed I was nursed in peace
as we crossed the river to Dodona
where the oracle crawls the plain shock of oak leaves in autumn, rattling tedium’s brown racket.
(Originally published in Stand, 2012.)

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