Annunciation

I woke with God’s first kiss,
a stream of light through the
window. I had dreamed of
dear Joseph and his
callused hands on my
skin, tracing psalms
between my thighs.
Hair matted
from sleep, I brushed
back a lion’s mane.
Morning prayers.
Sleep-grit in eyes –
a dove flew
into my room.
The hopeful thing
hopped on my bed
nestled by my pillow
and looked upon me.
“Why, little bird,
do you visit me?”
I asked, stroking
its downy breast.
The moment I
touched the bird,
heat licked my skin –
I screamed, and, in
a flash of plasma
a being appeared,
terrible to behold.
“Fear not,” said the angel –
a flaming wheel given form,
with hair of the desert,
his eyes the Sea of Galilee.
His feet burned, brimstone,
and his breath was like
spikenard and myrrh.
I would have run,
had I not been petrified,
mesmerized by his beauty.
My heart was a gazelle,
it leapt out of my chest,
into his slender arms.
“Who are you?”
I breathed.
“Gabriel, a messenger
of the Lord, my
jitterbug lamb,”
he said, voice a bell
the kind that tolls
when death is near.
“Why have you
appeared to me?”
He came closer,
cupped the dove
with pianist’s fingers.
“Fear not, Mary,
for you are a dragonfly
in God’s jazzy hands.”
I trembled, I shook,
I fell like Babel’s tower.
“God? But why?”
Gabriel smiled.
“You will conceive
a son, Jesus, holiest
of holies – his jams will
play scat, beep-bop, across
nations.”
My womb stirred.
“But I have known no music.”
Gabriel offered me the dove.
I took it with molasses hands.
“The Holy Ghost shall come
upon you, play for you,
his saxophone rouse your soul.”
I knew then, what the
music of God was. His
holy sound filled me,
and I yearned for
divine communion.
Gabriel’s lips met mine like
lilies blooming. He tasted
sweeter than Joseph,
like rain and manna.
No act of song or
creation is sinless –
we are all the children
of God. But my son,
especially so.

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