Becka Mckay Delray Beach (Lucia Leao)
Leviticus as Punchline for a Bad Joke
The president walked into history
like a battery of gnats swarming summer’s
lost wine. Each commandment you unearth--
hued in chalcedony and anthracite,
divided with camels and cattle--
offers further fuel for the argument
with God: Did He mean, in the end, to punish
us or protect us? Are we experiment
or intention? The president was disgorged
into history, bad meat in a linen napkin.
Some of us gave up. Some of us said
let the consecrated field be the home he cannot
destroy. Maybe everything that refuses
God’s abstraction becomes a kind of mutation,
like the thought that warps and splits on its way
to the word. The president met history
dressed in suit and tie but would not shake hands.
Let the consecrated field remain in the grip
of the gleaners, who crouch at the edges
and wait, sheaving their needs against darkness.