Two poems by Marcus Goodyear.

Watching the Shadow Rise

Don’t blame the woman, Adam.

You and Eve were quite complicit.

She offered the fruit.

And you ate it.

And it was good

at first. Dusk behind them,

they sat in the garden

and watched the shadow rise

up the eastern ridge

turning their backs to bright

colors, savoring blues, purples, blacks

where stars shine first

with messages of light across years

of light before e equaled anything

except this raw shared sweetness

and the potential of double-crusted

pie, fritters, sauce, a red jewel

in the mouth of a roasting pig.

God provides the sacrifice. We

always eat it.

21st Century Kohathites

After Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy articles, and when the camp is ready to move, the Kohathites are to come to do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy things or they will die. The Kohathites are to carry those things that are in the Tent of Meeting. (Numbers 4:15)

We carry a broken truth,

dissembled logic, wrapped in skins,

seals and goats sacrificed

served with figs, so their bodies

protect some piece of word.

I’m not carrying some Sunday

School Jesus, and I’m not afraid

to untie leather straps and peek.

My unholy hands unfold the wiry pelt.

My eyes are burned with lust—

images of every cheap and hasty coupling.

My mouth breathes the sour stench of stale

coffee, coating my teeth with yellow.

My songs of praise under my nose stink.

Fire from heaven never falls in truth

on men who seek the truth in fear—

because the word is a scaly confession

spreading leathery wings and breathing

fresh air into this chest like an oven

heating inspiration to greasy flames.


Marcus Goodyear is an editor and writer living in the Texas hill country. His poetry has appeared in several small journals, including 32 Poems and Geez.


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