SPOTLIGHT: My Name is Mary by Rhonda Melanson

(1-The Baptism of Christ)
Ritual Immersion

The real swimming lesson years ago
when you trusted me.

Your wiggling little body.

A taste and swallow
of salty murk

too much all at once.
I lifted you.

Yes, I taught you
to survive water.

Make limbs into oars.

What and who will you agitate?

remind me I let you go
to the water.

(2- The Wedding At Cana)
The Next Cut is The Deepest

You know me well, my son
how my compassion boils.

I notice things

like the buttery smoothness of wine,
its depth of colour, fruitiness.

So when I say they have no wine,
I am plowing deeper,

finding your sweet spot. Watching
your compassion brew, distill,

calling for clean vessel, fresh water,
a few drops of blood to make wine red-

for this and only this
is how they will believe.

Yes, the next cut is the deepest:
my clumsy handling of slender blade.

I find the fleshiest part of your arm,
and try not to leave a scar.

(3- The Proclamation of The Kingdom)
Jagged Little Jewels

Anyone who survives the desert
can exist in this land of tiny blessings.

Indeed, the curious smell you,
your fragrance of forgotten truth

like remains of burnt offering,
your bronzed face and shoulders

bear embers from yesterday’s

These motley invisibles reach out,
you crown them emperors, warriors,

creators of a piecemeal kingdom:
the raggy tags carried from place

to place, they become a seamless garment
sewed with buttons from a jar.

When you come home to me,
I’ll etch thorns on your brow

ignore nagging dreams
of them bleeding,

those jagged little jewels they are.

(4- The Transfiguration of Christ)
Edge of Glory

He would mount
each wobbly throne


badass revisions

for moral dilemmas
real or imagined.

A bad shit phoenix
with dull firebirds

who stumbled on water
and off precipices,

the lack of direction
men think exciting,

while lush women
whispered Hallelujah

rough edges of glory

that he was on fire.

where his head should be

and a skull.

(5- The Last Supper)
Save The Wine For Me

Women do the arranging of platters
position bitter ironic pieces
to be consumed without thought-

the shankbone
wilted lettuce
bitter herbs
all their tradition
that stick like chunks
at the back of my throat.

And then there’s the bread
in your man-handled hands!
I should have asked for a piece.

Something tangible for a memory,
but no bother,
you can eat now
and save the wine for me.

Make me forget
the blood I’m drinking.


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