THE PAGAN PULLING ONIONS ON THE COMMEMORATION OF THE BEHEADING OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

Their skin is brown
as yours, strange saint.
What did you say
that Herod liked to hear?

How he should give
up his coat?  How he
should give up
his brother’s wife,

step into the river like
any common fool
to be born
of water, again?

And was his niece
so lovely?  And did she
weep to see the horror
she had done

with her happy dance?
This is my best
crop ever.  Clearly,
the heat, just the right

amount of rain.
How easy it is
to slip from Earth,
to become food.

August 29, 2012

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