Raise the Lord: To Witnesses in My Driveway Praying on my Rebirth
by Susanna Rich
Rock Me Sexy Jesus.
—Pam Brady and Andrew Fleming
Not to be rude, dear pious things, but why
are you praying for me like some knitting
circle — needles tap-tapping like blind
pen points trying to write on each other.
Have you no inkling?
In His name, you say, you can only be
saved in His Holy Name. But my
Jesus wants no fabrication, no nominal
yarn gathering or balling. I am who
He wants me to be. I strap His hands
to my headboard, bind His feet —
My Man of Proportions — My All —
My Maker of Love rising up, rising
into me. We make scenes together. My
feet poised over His feet — stigma to stigma.
I raise my arms into a cross. I am His whip.
More, He begs, More pain. Be unforgivable,
so I can be big — bigger. His mouth
is open, aching for my vinegar tongue. Eat me,
He cries out. I lick. I bite. I suck the wine
trickling from His breast. He burns. He sweats
into my sheets. Mercy, He calls out, Mercy…
I roll back your religious canons, rescue
Him from your Calvaries. I am not the thief
who taunts Him to save me. I am the one
who mounts Him over my bed, dangling over
my life. We are each other’s thief — me
from below, He from above. He erects in me
His Paradise, where I come and come to Him —
My Adam, His side bleeding where He and I
die into each other, each unknowing day. Put
down your needlings, your moist ends, your double-
hooked unravelings. I don’t need your loops, your
cables, your stitches. You crotchety prayers, get it —
I have Him nailed.
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Susanna Rich (website) is a 2009 Emmy Award nominee for the poetry she wrote and voice-overed for Craig Lindvahl’s documentary Cobb Field. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Television Daddy and The Drive Home (both from Finishing Line Press); the 2008 Featured Poet of Darkling Literary Magazine; and a Fulbright Fellow in Creative Writing. An internationally published poet and prose writer, Susanna tours the one-woman audience-interactive poetry experience Television Daddy, and is in production for The Drive Home (opening in 2010). She is Professor of English and Distinguished Teacher at Kean University in New Jersey, teaching such courses as Emily Dickinson, William Blake, and 20th Century Women Poets.