Landscape III

Jill Alexander Essbaum

There is a bridge in the distance,
and it wonders if I will cross it.

There is a bridge in the distance
awaiting my footfalls.

I say to myself these words:
I am a bride, three times over.

I am a bride in a red dress, the bloody
wife, the sacred cup of wine.

I can see only the bridge and its bearings.
What I hear is the sound of my heart,

discerning itself between beats
and gushes. Am I really dead?

Of course not. How could that happen?
How could that ever happen?

When she is born again, a woman's name
becomes wisdom and flesh.

How can a birth be a death?
My name is Jill Essbaum-sweetheart

who has eaten from the tree. The wisest apple is one
whose pulp is firm and sweet.



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blood and the holy grail

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