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White Grass

Noli Me Tangere

Mariel Alonzo

                     John 20:17

in a rural mass, a deaf woman

sitting on a pew answers the catechism

with babbles.

vowels expand rounding with air, but does not

sever from her throat. no matter how deep

the wind fists, her drums won’t sound.

how the tongue could only touch

as much as it has touched

her sins extra-terrestrial.


on a faded banig, a blind man makes love

with what feels like a sister after twelve

years of loving a wife.

by their bedside, a harem of black ants

removes the raised limbs

of a fly in the greatest act of falling

apart, he whispers

you’re beautiful in her ear and she

cannot hear, but believes.


she cannot hear the Father who touches her

forehead, drawing a black cross

then taking that sacrifice

to his lips as he kisses her

like a child. she professes her love yet he hears

amen and all is forgiven. her fist

clenching a rosary, ash of palms burying

in her neck while he, like a child

bit and bit. amen and amen.


she professed her love and he believes –

there are no creatures as forever as color

no animal as colorless than her

even when she made love

with another, there is a place

darker than this that the light

hasn’t reached. why stand blocking

taking in every stray

fahrenheit, when they can lay

untouched, side by side?




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