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Brian Spears

Posted by admin on December 26, 2011


Brian Spears is the poetry editor of The Rumpus, and his first book, A Witness in Exile, will be released by Louisiana Literature Press in 2010. His poems have appeared in The Southern Review, Quarterly West, and Relief, among others, and have won two Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg prizes. He currently teaches at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.



An Experience of Blood


And so, a wondrous, witless witness

sent abroad in missionary position

(try saying that without a grin

when you’re a twenty-year-old virgin

afraid to get laid lest Jesus’ blood

be spilled in vain) to spread The TRUTH!

(in caps we say it, honest) TRUTH!

yes, with exclamation, witnessed

by men of faith who saw the blood

(notice only men in that position)

spill out, so pure, so virginal

the Son of God, His death grin

macabre joy, a rigor-mortised grind

of teeth exclaiming that truth

could triumph even on the verge

of temptation. I was the witness,

okay, a witness to exposition

from those who had heard of blood

spilt from Jesus. We think. Blood

not seen by any who wrote the grim

story, only heard from those in position

to know, trustworthy and true

to faith. They must have borne witness,

have known His mother the Virgin,

(not known, mind you — she was virgin

only for God) her hymen’s blood

spilled out at His birth, witnessed

by angels in midheaven, grinning

and singing and rejoicing that truth

had come to earth to take possession,

retake, really, man’s position

as God’s favored. Or some version.

Pilate asked “What is truth?”

and then washed his hands of blood,

he thought — Truth was grinning

in his face, was bearing witness.

Or so I thought, I, a virgin, witless,

unblooded, a fool’s grin slapped on.

In truth, an impossible position.


From Volume IV, Issue 1, 2009.