gestures
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1. worship

even the buzzards pray in the flap of carrion wings updrafts lifting coverts.

their airfoils open like fingers in the down strokes. so solomon knelt

his hands outstretched to heaven before the altar. so too in lamentations,

Let us lift our heartswith our palms to heaven, as buzzards pray.

2. obeisance

They bowed low and fellprostrate before the Lord, even kings

flattened like worms sifting through earth, scavenging molehills

until their bellies bulging full of dirt, turned waste to humus.

3. devotion

after spring rains poured down to swell the river’s throbbing lips, miriam & leah were gentled into

death. on nebo, god kissed moses under a duvet of hemstitched clouds, his hand opening to canaan. [End Page 138]

vigilant, the eagle mother visits her naked fledglings with fresh prey, the dead sustaining them.

4. devotion 2

O for your kiss,for your lovemore enticing than wine.

the mare licks her newborn, the sopping colt of spindles. her tongue mops after

birth. the foal’s swollen lips find the teat. From the mouthof sucklings, you founded strength.

5. joy

Happy the people who knowthe horn’s blast. They walkinto the light of your presence.

panting & sweating, the woman cries out, her scream a shofar. silent within her another

sound, a door swaying open, ribs like rafters rattling. here from your cedar

roots, young shoots grow. a throb. unseen lips stretch. the wineskin

mouth pours. halleluiah. [End Page 139]

Jane Seitel

Jane Seitel is an Expressive Art Therapist, teacher, and poet, living in Baltimore, Maryland. She holds a Masters of Education from Lesley College and recently received an MFA from Drew University in Poetry. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Bridges, Lilith, Poetica, and as poem of the week on Split This Rock. She received the 2010 Charlotte Newberger Prize in Poetry. [4jseitel@gmail.com]

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