A Statue of a Woman

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A statue of a woman

stands in a forest.  Vines twist

about her hips and thighs;

their roots grasp the earth.

 

Her arms reach for a tree’s limb,

as if to pull herself free.

 

Jesus stands near her,

grey leaves snarled in his hair.

 

“I carved this, a perfect

likeness of her,” he says

to the forest.  “My eyes

were sponge.  My hands

had tangled in vines.

 

“To kiss her now,

I would place this forest

in glass, surround it with white walls,

with a white floor.”

 

He breaks a leaf from a shrub

and creases it.

 

“I do not believe,” he says

to the sun, to the greens

and browns.

 

“If you were real, I would sleep

cradled in your warmth and buds,

held firm by your wood.

 

“But you are not a forest.”

Jesus drops the leaf

and kicks it into the dirt,

 

He steps to the edge of the forest

and smudges the glass.

His eyes trace a white door

at the far side of a white room.

 

This poem was originally published in The Prism Quarterly, Volume 7, Number 3, January 2005.

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