Mary Magdalen : first published in CopperBird One (2017)

by Sharon Ashton

When we were young it was difficult to see
the word enclosed within the flesh; flesh was
sweeter than words when we were young.
Your long fingers breaking bread
or wrapped around a wine-stained cup,
the secret creases at the curve of your neck;
these aroused me, not men’s words.
Men’s words have given me nothing…
That day you said the flesh enclosing you
must be sacrificed, I wrapped your feet in
snaking coils of hair and might have trapped you.
But it’s me trapped now, in this withered skin,
untouched, waiting for a promise to be kept.