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  • Joshua Gage

Pieta


by Joshua Gage


The evening brings guests

to a barren table.

I am a pot in the kitchen,

boiled black.

There is no fire,

only scattered lily petals.

I am a vineyard

pruned by frost.

A cracked urn. An eggshell

bereft of white or yolk.

The boat drowns beneath the weight

of a curtain’s ripping. Its nets

draw tears from beneath the waves.

I have become a temple

built around the toll

of an eclipse. My lamps

are dry. Their smoke guides pilgrims

who sweep the threads of their prayers

beneath my cobwebs.

If I squeeze tight enough,

I can hear the pulse

of a dove’s wings. Fingers

become the muslin to bind

the nails’ butchering.

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