the louderARTS Project

Raina León

A graduate of Teachers College Columbia University (MA in Teaching of English, 2004) and Penn State University (BA in Journalism, 2003) and a Cave Canem fellow, Raina J. León is currently a doctoral student in education at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Her work has been featured at Cornelia Street Café, Nuyorican Poets Café, Bowery Poetry Club, and the Acentos series at the Blue Ox Bar, as well as in AntiMuse, Penn State literary magazines, Problem Child and Kalliope, the Cave Canem Anthology (VIII) and the Palmer Art Museum collection for its 2003 Devotion and Diversity exhibit. Her evolution as a perpetual student, teacher, poet, playwright and human being can be found at naughtysubstitute.blogspot.com.

raina.leon at gmail dot com




Ascend

Imagine aged Adam
still bleating his pleas to blazing swords
for angels struck deaf by God cannot hear
him begging for the keys to the kingdom.

He bows his gray head, guilty:
two sons gone and a prodding rib remains.
Her forked tongue licks his lips
with pomegranate juices that thunder bones
dry, aching for garden solitude.

Imagine his feeble mind, flesh encased,
wrapped in rough stone hewn hands,
God's fired clay cracking into stoop.
Weakness as salt leaks from,
eyes with room for rainbows,
eyes with room for breast remembrances,
those perfect, new formed summits of Eve covered by green.
He banishes thoughts of her youth, wrinkled body so close,
his innocence so far away.

Imagine his death, that of the sinner man,
unwashed hair locked by the soot of burnt skin
running from heaven,
running from angels,
running from favored son blood, love gone and marriage remaining,
running from time to rest
on an upper region of hellish earth.

Gray Adam extends his last breath onto one tree branch
to line the womb of Mary,
to succor the infant she carried,
to imprison each body
until light broke both bird cages in rattles.

And now she is ascending
as Adam never could.
She rides rainbows
her father's father many times could taste in remembering.
Her mountain peaks are stalactites dripping to earth.

Imagine Mary with nothing but her undulating ululation,
honey offering for Adam,
for her light-bathed son above her,
her spirit swimming naked in celestial waters
falling from empyrean heights.

Talk about freedom from sin.



© Raina León



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