hermeneutics

by kathleen hellen

Only Mark and Luke had bothered to commit to gospel “he will add,” in Hebrew, his job a load beam, hoisting baby Jesus on the scapular, holding up the mystery of incarnation sans the carnal. 

Patron saint of impotence. Frail, graying icon, whose staff sprouted lilies limp and feeble. A relic fathering the contradiction—what did he make that wasn’t god before? (they said) he cured the nun of her distemper, his girdle a miracle—if trussed.

Odd tekton. Patrón of the undesirables. Of cities titular from Canada, the Philippines, to the Caribbean. A saint to give us work when there is none, according to the gospel.

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KATHLEEN HELLEN’S collection meet me at the bottom is forthcoming in Fall 2022 from Main Street Rag. Her credits include The Only Country Was the Color of My Skin, her award-winning collection Umberto’s Night, published by Washington Writers’ Publishing House, and two chapbooks, The Girl Who Loved Mothra and Pentimento

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