For She Said I Shall Be Whole

when she had heard of Jesus, came
in the press behind, and touched his garment.

Bless her with a voice, this woman brave enough
to steal redemption from behind,

her courage not requiring God
to be its witness; a woman wise enough to know

which day should put enduring
to an end—let her engrave these pages,

lay a finger on Sinai stone, given power to replace
what’s been there and done: a new coat, burning

bushes, pass over second helpings
of fish and bread—reveal instead the mystery

and miracle of this woman’s name:
what vowels and consonants climb toward

a faith that heals without permission,
what sounds might carry me

to yet another testament
to the nameless—a valley of ash, and salt

remains in the shape of a woman whose eyes refuse
to look where they’re commanded.

If I lay my hands, then, on what would have been
her pulse, press my mouth against her

disobedient hem, would I learn
to brace my body against the smoky allure

of returning, be saved by her too-late
revelation, veins closing as the heart

pumps a river of salt; would she bestow
what Genesis omits—

how can I look away
when what I love is burning?

Back to Poetry