AFTER READING RUMI
I say my prayers upside down, the wind
blowing me like a clothespinned robe,
my little bat hands curled together. I look for God
in a school of fish. I look for God in Mammoth Cave.
I look for God in an air balloon. If Jesus’
hot coal head is the sun rising, where does
He hide his body? Or does the body merely
flatten black like a shadow, then disappear in sun?
An unravelling ghost, round as a coin, tells me
of Judas, how he still benedict arnolds
through the meadow bought with ruddy silver:
his neck choking in an argentine knot, his entrails
snaking out like squirrel tails. In His dressing room
like Al Jolson, God masquerades as Night.
He blackens His paint-pink hands. He blackfaces
His clown-white countenance, while a goat
drinks Christ’s blood and sprouts fur wings.
A frog drinks Christ’s blood and becomes
a green bat. Made of fire, a crackle man jumps
in a thorny bush. He blows me a gas-blue kiss,
then cries, I am God and you are my new Moses.
Take a dip? I say, and hopscotch over heat-
baked sand. He pulls up the charred bush
like a tutu, follows me into meringue white waves.
—from Julie Moulds’ The Woman with a Cubed Head, New Issues Poetry and Prose (1998)