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  • The Salvation of Luke

    A man lives in the belly of a wooden box

    snarls of knotweed strangle the wood

    bolts of steel hold tight the lid

    The man cannot see birds that hang soft on air

    nor does he hear the chorus of spring peepers

    he does not feel the tender kiss from the honeybee

    and he no longer falls into a bed of Luna's beams

    The man thrashes about clawing at the navel

    he is blinded by spitting chinks of fire

    assaulted by blades that stab and taunt him

    a monstrous playmate pounds on the box

    rapping at his ears

    yanking at his eyes

    crashing his veins

    filling his nostrils with the stench of rotting flesh

    hacking his jumbled thoughts into unrecognizable ruins

    burying him in a tomb constructed by a demon

    that he fastened from his own hands

    One day the pounding pierces so loud

    the man barricades his ears from the thunder

    he snaps shut his eyes

    so as not to see the vice that has leeched him

    And from the slightest crack in the wood

    a tiny cricket enters the box and settles on the man's knee.

    the cricket stretches wide his wings

    and speaks in a booming voice

    forcing the eyes of the man to fall open

    the ears of the man to spill empty

    and with that the man hears his name

    Luke.

    And the cricket commands;

    "Luke, stand up,

    force the steel from your box,

    let go your heavy burden,

    rise up from your tomb,

    call to soft rain to wash over you,

    be delivered on this day of Easter Lilies,

    be delivered where the burning bush roars,

    on her knees,

    the mother who birthed you has spent a life in stitches

    quilting a blanket of sturdy pieces with tight threads"

    On hearing of his mother

    Luke rose

    and with all of his might

    he heaved and purged his body

    and with one enormous surge

    pushed through steel bolts and nails

    shattering the box

    by the throat he lifted up the convulsing playmate

    heaved it over his shoulder

    it snapped at his ear

    and with a biting clatter

    the wood began to pull together

    so tight

    shutting out the light

    and salvation

    Pamela Wilonski

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