This selection, chosen by guest curator and Sundress intern Katherine DeCoste, is from No Other Rome by Heather Green, released by University of Akron Press in 2021.
The Half-God Appears
standing in god-light at the edge of the wood,
sense the pulse,
say: truth, tiny, partial, contingent.
Have you been looking for your maker
but longing to live?
I met the half-god;
his mother was human she had tears in her eyes.
Or, he came from the back world;
he had tears in his eyes.
He suggested “hold on,” a way to die.
Suggestion: fruitless waiting.
Encoded in the problem of the 20th century,
from which I emerged,
tiny dots formed the figure on horseback:
not form but the marrow of form.
The half-god is graceless,
but an arrow can’t kill him.
The half-god points
to your false hope of fulfillment.
He emerged from the back world, eyes devoid of tears.
The horseback figure obscures the daytime
clouds and the pillar of fire.
He is seen by the unseen and overlooked by God.
The half-god reminds you
that you are still waiting,
empty belly and eyes intent on the leaves.
This half-god could be fought with flowers
and rejoicing, but who can?
This is what he took down
open-mouthed, lance drawn:
cool nights spent in the garden out behind the house,
the honeysuckle vines, the garden wall, the house.
Or was it the waiting that tore them down?
The pink pill was the promise,
the capsule broke open, the dots formed the figure:
he emerged from the shadow of the wood
in a lullaby
translated variously as: jealousy, the ground
falling away from the feet, anxiety.
Suggestion: abandon all hope.
Suggestion: “no one said you wouldn’t be changed.”
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