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Clay Road

emily isaacson

Embroider the Sun Across the Sky

In the days of Galileo, 
there was a hierarchy among the stars.
I thought she would rule an empire; she was
strong, when fortitude was of the essence.
She was iron royalty. This is what I knew
about the Princess of Andromeda.


There was a healing from the clay when
the Messiah walked on earth.
He fashioned it with spit between his fingers.
A ray of light descended on the road of compassion.



The gold gate of unrequited love swung on
its mighty force, freedom in its hinges,
looked on a barren, lifeless sky
and called it forth to birth—
of our tears and reckonings,
these existential galaxies of fiery
beings, these stars, forgiving velvet
in a city of knives, warming souls and
bringing with them the evening
and all its worth. The Princess of Ethiopia,
with a word, drew her iron empire to sleep.

What light came into darkness, woven
a subtle embryo, swimming in ocean clarity,
the womb a canopy over banquets
bold, fragrant food and wine, colorful fruit
spanning the year-long table, differences
in a myriad of forms, put aside;
the artist wept, his paint plural, in black dress
from ways of society, and genre—
staring out over the handsome rye fields
stark against the prairie dust, cultivation
a metaphor of strong stable marriage.

So begins A Familiar Shore...

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