Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2015  Vol. 14 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
 print preview

Jacob’s Limp

Who wouldn’t have a bad hip on his way across the river
Jabbok. Eleven children, two wives, your fourteen years
behind you with an uncle who lied. But this angel is no

fib. When it turns toward the sun, it seems a woman,
an erotic hand on your waist, burning, slipping down,
or it’s a masculine grip on your hip bone like a prophecy

that must, absolutely must be fulfilled. And now such
hair that you tear away in your fist, such tangible light,
an angel scalp the brightness of sunrise, turning red with

this struggle. Years of walking slantwise, of forgetting
mother’s schemes, father’s blindness, what can an even
gait achieve that your swap of lentils for a brother’s

birthright did without effort? Instinct just a red-furred
body trying to make more of itself, your hope that two
people, his and yours, forgive, embrace. You almost hear

an angel’s voice. Maybe God’s. Or it’s Esau weeping.  end  

return to top