Sunday, April 15, 2012

As David Watched Her Bathe - 15/30

Whoa! I've got 4 minutes to go! Cutting it close, huh? That's what I get for working on a day that I should be writing poetry!

As David Watched Her Bathe

She had a name like an augur-less omen,
her form more diamond than flesh
with the way the sun trailed its fingers
down the rivulets of her bathing.
Bathsheba,
a curse to the crowned voyeur
glimpsing her beauty through parted scarlet,
his heart
a sudden holocaust of need.
Need one message quickly appeased,
on Peregrine-swift wings retrieving
David’s foremost folly.

He had not wavered before embedding
his sling-shot pebble in Goliath’s brow.
He had not quavered when Saul hauled
armies cross-country with bloody cravings.
But this, this star-inscribed seraph
David could not tear from mind.
She, a high place he trembled to surmount.
The God for whom he warred
could do all things, sculpt the globe
and rend its very waters,
but,
provide for his enflamed heart
a salve more perfect than that
which he’d have with Bathsheba
(she already the bride of Uriah)?

The lie,
exhaled like incense, won his judgement.
And the husband,
dispatched like fodder, won his envy.
But the ripened fruit
of their noonday tryst, swelling
a gourd of Bathsheba that glistened
with afternoon diamonds,
this child won David’s consequence,
an involuntary christ
interred for his selfishness. His doubt,
a coat-hanger spear to the side
of something he never thought he’d have to
good-bye.

David would never recall the Exodus
after this without Pharaoh’s tenth coercion
stinging sympathy from his tear ducts.
He’d remember his own folly
and tell of its consequence repeatedly,
a scriptural reverence thanking
God on the tip of his tongue.

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