Dreamers' Songs: Nancy Bevilaqua's Poems

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Tag: Magdala

Taliyth Zimuwthiy*

Taliyth Zimuwthiy*

Belligerent and rich, belittled

little fool. Bird’s heart full

of crazy listening: crush of lies,

sacrifice, lambs bled,

fallen doves. Devil surging

for a jest, spilling niceties

inside her head, dogging her,

dogging, room to room at dawn: Fire

on their hill will give you

rest, absolve the air

of sacred stench. Turn your hand to it.

Let their olives spit in sand;

boil their bitter oranges.


Creaking in wrecked shoes

that bring you from the lower street,

slapping time against your chest to beat it

back, passer-by, newly wed with wine

still on your breath you startle

with your father at her shriek.


Shorn, surrendered,

kneeling in her silk on aged creases

of the earth, stoking stares

from all their sodden eyes she sings:

Be quick, be quick. It doesn’t hurt me,

doesn’t hurt. I will never cross this plain

again, and swallow all its dirt.


Everyone is dreaming

now, copse wavering in heat. A force:

you find yourself beholden, suddenly

complete. Kneeling too you write in sand:

New lesson—learn love, blind men. Subsiding

dream. They part. She rises, walks to you, and you

will not be alone again.


(*Roughly, “Release the girl” in Aramaic.)

(To hear the audio version, please see previous post.)

The Game He Called “Glide Against the Sky”


The Game He Called “Glide Against the Sky”
(from Gospel)

Lust at the edge of nothing. Steps along
the parapet: no future tense, stillness
oceanic. Gravity in black fields
of granite spheres and starry core itself
sucked upward at your skull, your singing

blood, your own core, your fear. Renegade
between your knees to whom you’d whispered,
Esa, I will learn discomfort for you,
borrow from your restless dream, alongside,
guiding, pleased. You found your nature gone

to sea, convalescing memories toys
dropped from dirty fingers. You’d never had
a moment’s faith. No matter. Look up, he said.
Scan the universe for simple signs. There is nothing
to believe, but flowers in their need trust sky.


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