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Minor Prophets

Consider the forgotten minor prophet:
a grizzled man who spoke of covenants
broken, and locusts. The sandstorms sent to buffet
his hard cheeks distilled his penitence.
Your auntie notes the taste that wedding day
of moist air thickening, the cheap champagne.
With Cleopatra-ed eyes, the bride will stay
beneath that red sky blossoming with rain.

In April, watch the wry urologist's
plump wife lift up a frothy cherry bloom, her
slow caress cut short when he suggests
its petals look just like a bladder tumor.

In smoky bluish depths, the mermaids wish
each for a shipwrecked sailor's handsome face.
They'll cradle him in kelp until the fish
nibble him to bone and doily lace.
Plain old granny had her bucktoothed warning
to settle down or straighten up. Behave.
She cracked her knuckles, draped herself in mourning,
then scuttled satisfied into her grave.
The ragged mongerers still vitiate
this gray world from their chosen deserts, spent
with bleak foretelling. God-hungry, they wait
for rumbling voices—harsh, magnificent.

Joanna Pearson

Oldest Mortal Myth
Story Line Press

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