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religion

Believer

The house is in need of repair, but is—
for now, she says—still hers. After the storm,
she laid hands on what she could reclaim:

Exegesis

On Saturday, when I come to see
my brother, they call him, over loudspeaker,
to the tower—a small guardroom

Prodigal I

Once, I was a daughter of this place:
daughter of Gwen, granddaughter
of Leretta, great of Eugenia McGee.

Prodigal II

I wanted to say I have come home
to bear witness, to read the sign
emblazoned on the church marquee—

The Hinnom Valley, looking west from the Jerusalem’s Old City. (Ian W. Scott / CC BY-SA 2.0).

Looking for Judas

We had been looking for Hakeldama for close to an hour, wandering through deep, desertic, geological gouges stubbled with little merkins of shrubbery and low gray trees that look squashed and drained of chlorophyll. The sun did strange things to the landscape here, vivifying the dominating grays and sands, weakening the greens, and walling off thousands of hilltop and hillside houses behind shimmering heat-haze force fields. 

<i>A Metaphorical God: Poems</i>, by Kimberly Johnson. Persea Books, September 2008. $14

God-Hunger Redux

Kimberly Johnson, Alex Lemon, and Brenda Shaughnessy take up the poetics of God-lust with renewed, edgy, often darkly humorous imagination in distinctive second books of poetry.

Saint Francisco de Paola floating across the water on his cloak. A saint of good works—charitas bonitas—he is carrying flames against his chest, a physical manifestation of his passion for the word of God.

The Stories of Strangers: Mexican Ex-Voto Paintings

While visiting a church in Guadalupe in 1917, David Alfaro Siquieros, the great muralist painter of the Mexican Revolution, found, “along with broken candelabras and other typical church adornments,” a “true mountain” of small paintings tossed carelessly on the floor. He picked one up. It was “made of paper . . . painted with colored pencils but especially interesting, perhaps more primitive than the others, almost as if executed by a child.” And, thinking he was doing nothing wrong, he took it. A priest, witnessing the scene, shouted, “Thief!”—and armed sacristans dragged him off to the station.

 

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