Jane Rosenberg LaForge
Comparing mythologies in Paris
At Notre Dame, my husband says
the devil is always more interesting
than the acolytes and their enthusiasms
assembled to receive the disbelievers
in reason and fate. My husband is here
with his beats and falsehoods but I
prefer to imagine you instead, suited
in the garb of the other side’s religion.
I wonder if you would still be recognizable
as that fey creation, too gentle at the
shins and forearms, bleached copper
on your eyebrows and on your chest.
Your body should never have been
the object of such humbling; Your
mouth never so open for song should
it be mistaken for the call of death.
You should have had a Cheshire
expression, sans teeth and their cruelty,
of course, for there are neither stages
nor stations before a gospel is written.
Lastly, I should have liked to have
known you in your retirement,
an emeritus position, to act as a sage
for your replacement. Sage burns, but
rarely do wishes; they are our most
enduring belief: in what might be made
possible but cannot exist, like the reign
of pumice your skin has become, and
the stars I wish could pierce through it.
Jane Rosenberg LaForge lives in New York with her husband and daughter. She is the author of two chapbooks, After Voices, from Burning River of Cleveland and Half-Life, from Big Table Publishing Co. of Boston. More poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Curbside Splendor, Muscle and Blood, and Naugatuck River Review.
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