A LEPER BEGS THE SON OF GOD
You have seen angels. So tell me, then,
of the creature’s beauty. Of the trumpets
bleating of the limbs bowed, ripe & unholy
There’s a woman in town that says
she’s seen an angel. Says it looked like
a beast says it blistered & sang & oozed
And I guess what I’m trying to ask
is if angels are really monsters if they
are beings from YHWH’s dreams if YHWH
dreams at all
I guess what I’m trying to say is
the women in my village are afraid I’ll never
marry afraid I’ve been cursed afraid
I’ll die unloved– unspooled– a fraying red
thread. But I don’t want a man to love me.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed yet, but
your people love in violences.
You don’t understand, Rabbi:
I am the blood smear on the lintel.
I am the omen the warning the cold
dance of death. My body, desolate: stark
forgotten in absence of vengeance
There is one god, and he has turned
his back on me. When I dream,
I dream of YHWH’s face: the sneer
& curl a labyrinth of dark teeth
Is it wrong to want answers? Teach me,
Rabbi. It is why you are here.
What I’m trying to say is
I’m already monstrous. Your father has seen
to that. So do not heal me. Do not make
me a mouth gaped joyful wide.
If this world is to shun me, let it
shiver. Let its forests smoke & flame.
If I am to be a monster, let me
be one that lumbers that shudders–
shakes– Let me herald something
holy. Let my wounds sing:
The divine is at hand.
By Brianna Albers
Brianna Albers is a poet, writer, and storyteller, located in the Minneapolis suburbs. In 2016, she founded Monstering, a magazine for disabled women and nonbinary people; she currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief. A Best of the Net nominee, her work can be found in Guernica Magazine, Word Riot, and Winter Tangerine Review, among others. Her début chapbook, Why I’m Not Where You Are, was a finalist in Where Are You Press’ “Where Are You Poet” contest; it was published in 2016 via Words Dance Publishing. She can be found at briannahopealbers.com.