Geometries of Benediction
Like most of my work, this poem views the parallels between humanity and the natural world through a dark, surreal lens. How beauty and death so often intertwine in a self-destructive dance.
Hidden, she, of cloven hoof, kicking fire,
devours the fog-cloaked mountaintops, rustles
burnished bronze dreams fallen, broken,
ritual sacrifices offered on Autumn’s altar.
Two young bucks lock antlers, fighting for
dominance, while the world refracts like a
crushed prism, kaleidoscopic & lost.
Milk spilt on shattered glass, domestic shards.
Skyscraper remorse desiccated in desert sun,
your certainty trembles in thimble time. In
situ tableau, a morgue of truth, what contempt,
what grace, a form of recompense, a river spent.
Softly, softly, the soil indents over a grave.
Starlings, a grackle, a rattle, a snake. Away,
we explore the geometries of benediction.
Shimmering insects, my kin, burrow beneath
my skin, growing roots in my veins. We trees,
bent, dark, twisted, monstrous—adore us.
Excess of sound, a song, a chorus of skeletons,
bones of my innocence, my sepulchral youth.
Breathing in orbit, the atmospheric wake, empty
of malice, of mercy, I taste
sweet destruction—our holy, our god.
V.C. McCabe is the author of the forthcoming collection Ophelia (Femme Salvé Books, 2023) and Give the Bard a Tetanus Shot (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2019). She was a music journalist for Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper The Charleston Gazette and edited for Frontier Poetry, Ice Floe Press, and Barren Magazine. Her work appears in ekphrastic exhibits and journals worldwide, including EPOCH, Poet Lore, and Prairie Schooner. An Appalachian poet, she has lived in Ireland, England, and West Virginia. Her website is vcmccabe.com.
MORE FROM WINTER 2023 (4:3)
A Conversation with Esperanza Cintrón, Maria S. Picone, Managing Editor
Stubborn Writers Contest Winner — Fish Mother, Natalie Harris-Spencer
Palomita Azul, Sofia Romero
Just Like Her but Selling Pharmaceuticals, David Morgan O’Connor
Tuesday May Never Come, Mario Aliberto III
Guai Guai, Jennifer Luh
Common Flower Parts, Sharon Lin
Stubborn Writers Contest Winner — เข้าใจ (kaojai) // to understand, lit. to enter the heart (n.), Max Pasakorn
A Chronically Unhealthy Health Care System, Renee Cronley
No Context Autoimmune Disorder, Allison Thung
Geometries of Benediction, V.C. McCabe
Recycling died, like Santa and God., Katie Kemple
November Ends, Samuel Adeyemi
Recurrence, Mollie O’Leary
Self Portrait in a Type of Mirror, Alison Lubar
Philemaphobia or the Fear of Kissing, Judy Kaber
Old Photos, Yvette R. Murray