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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
    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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