Indiana University Bloomington

Jesus’ Daughter

You know so many beautiful things

about beautiful things, and this

I mean literally — works of art

memories of a man who died

strung up and skinny in

the shape of a comfortable chair

reclining into you — your mother

swallowing libations in red wine

the way deep graves swallow water

preparing too early her ascent

anyway. I love the way you smile

like two thousand year’s heartache

walked away over dead oceans,

and made lovely pearls in red clams.


Apostrophe invokes, that is its work. And the sonnet is a bridge between I and Thou—thou divined presence, thou memory of rustling skirts, thou beloved. Frank O’Hara said a poem is a phone call. Do you think God has a secretary? Hello, this is Gabriel. How may I direct your call? Do you think God can have a human sense of humor if his understanding is too large for syntax? I know that it is impossible trying to understand the way He orders things, but I still want to date his daughter.  Would that I could see her, but divinity doesn’t love the ever terminating body. Sing again bright angel. It’s a pity, really, how lovely she’d look over a cup of coffee. Do you think she’d be friends with Helen or Proserpine? I do not understand the natural deviance Milton theorizes into women except to say that it is “natural,” which is annular logic. Do you think Milton has called up Eve in the great beyond by now, or do you think he is still seeking her? I wonder if she’d drink coffee or vermouth, like Helen. (Thanks for that image Anne Carson.)  Mostly I wish I could imagine the color of her pout as steam sizzles up into her closing eyes—blinking slowly before she forgives him. Do you think she’d sound sarcastic? Does the tide wave its clammy hand before retreating into the ocean?

Jared Robinson is a junior studying English literature and creative writing.

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