HOLY TEXT, BY Audra Puchalski
I bury the very on-fire stub of myrrh in the dirt,
tombstone it with a striped rock burning hot
from the pandemic summer sun. I delicately
pollute the air, contaminate the earth. My love
has always had its perforated rubric—tear here
to detach the piece of ego that keeps me
quiet. What is essential: flower plus bowl of water.
Random tomato. Proverbial white-pelted hart,
unhuntable. Who needs sentences anymore,
in this economy? Just write poems. I remember
the pews with their padded kneelers hinged
underneath, remember waiting for everyone
to un-kneel to flip it back up, remember being
the last one to un-kneel because unlistening.
Now I’m planting fire under the last few shards
of mulch, under the apricots the tree drops
like very slow bombs, exploding sugar, drawing
flies who come to eat their juices from the soil
where they were spilled. But I’m fine. The train
whistles meaninglessly. This is what I’m doing
now. Crabapple, meyer lemon, apricot, borage,
tomato where no tomato was sown, but
a tomato saw fit to grow there, beside
the garden hose, and so I stake it, so await
whatever unsought harvest it bestows.
Audra Puchalski lives in Oakland, California and is the author of the chapbook Queer Hagiographies. Her work has been published in Bat City Review, Juked, Superstition Review, Cutbank Online, and others. Find her at audrapuchalski.com.