The Grace of Conversion
I’m tired of this angel
who comes to me each morning,
pale robes like water spilling
from his shoulders, a fragile
scepter of lilies the single gift
he offers, holding it like an arrow
meant to blossom through my heart,
his voice, wind across deserts
saying Hail Mary as if in awe.
How long must I endure
these simple seductions,
his girdle, ribbons of amethyst
twining over slim hips,
muscled thighs, a pyramid
of indigo flame, his crown.
Yet I can’t ignore his unlikely
appearances, the way he rushes
through walls, pours from water
I draw at the well, fire at his feet,
feathers falling on my breast
as he presses burning lips to my ear,
whispers, Most highly-favoured.
He causes flowers unknown in Nazareth
to burgeon where my sandals pass.
He unbinds my hair, kisses each curl
while gems, stars, spill from his tongue.
He weaves a necklace of light. Tonight
he drifted through the barred window.
Moonlight. Fog. I felt his weight
upon me, my protest silenced
with a cool finger pressed against
my lips, his—taste of salt, honey, blood
in my throat—his hand a small bird
resting over my womb so I was still,
could accept or refuse nothing
with his voice rising like a storm,
his fingers becoming ropes of thorn
encircling my wrists. Gabriel.
At last, his name, meaning The Strength
of God, his god, his messiah blooming
in me, a foul trick, an impure love.