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Black Lamb

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Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.

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The woman bore

December 1st, 2004

BY LORENTZ LOSSIUS

The woman bore her last child alone
through a cold crowing village wind
her breasts swelled into a barricade
against the oracle the soft voice
behind the bronze grille in the wooden box
and then weary of labor and the smell of blood
shielding the child from earth soaked in dreams
she watched his body tremble itself away
heard his little lungs shuffle him
toward the westernmost gate

Cradled in the shadow
of mortared stones
chalk smeared with sweat
crumbling pink stucco
dust wraps her face
with pale powdery lines

She no longer strains to hear the feathery voice
the rickety hearse wheels squeak at each turn
he is no longer with you
he has gone away from you
gone up to heaven
we all cry in our turn
save us from the dust
he is no longer with me
she has gone away from me
prayer becomes a ritual pinched dry by the wind

But our tears are living water
and every sunny mote of dust might be an angel
singing highly beyond our sight
inside God’s enameled heart
within his torso of gilded wood
below the skin of rosy gold
the arc of steaming frankincense portends
a paradise a heaven of sweet faces
roses lace cloud hierarchies
marble tables million-armed cherubim
rocking fields of souls in cradles

The dust under her feet spills over the coffin
as it sways and sinks into the earth
the resinous crust crumbles away from her eyes
God is as timeless as the vision of a statue
and Time is as godless as hot sand in the wind
what will save us from the dust
dust is as true as a box of holy wafers is
protect me from the dust

— Jacumé, September 1990 •

Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Christmas Issue, Lossius | Link to this Entry

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