An Open Poem in Protest of Amendment One: first draft on May 9th
They called out, and they came–the pious, the frightened,
the spiritually blind. It was an easy conjuration: draw the sign
of the cross, see nailed upon the ragged wood only yourself,
scry into the blackened, holy mirror your own reflection,
cast your coins into the blazing preacher’s hands, and believe
that no matter how poor you are, how desperate; you are
at least better than men who lie down with men, the women
who love women, even if they do so in love and good faith.
This is the South, where branches held burnt bodies of black men
and the flowers of the magnolia: scent of flesh, of fresh cut
lemons. You can wash your hands in the light
of the sun and know you were right. Even here,
in our garden, you can pause and reflect on how
you rescued love from the grasp of those who don’t deserve it.
Meanwhile, the mockingbird plays back the midnight
call of the whip-poor-will, as invisible as the original singer
was in the darkness last night, but also see this: in the light of day
the pomegranate my husband and I planted blooms
like a tree of fire.
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