Issue #5 November 2015
Detail from Evening Wind by Tim Frisch

Clifford Parody

The Prophetess

It wasn’t so phenomenal, at first, her ascent,
             the tree half dead, some limbs broken,
some not, she focused, she stopped.

She let her hair down, down to her brown bottomed feet,
and slipped a white dress overhead—bare skin bristling as
             the wind picked up.

             She walked along a limb, leaves falling,
feet in front of feet, eyes closed, arms out:
they bent (the limb

the arms) and swayed (the limb,
             the arms, the hips of her body
                          heavy with the change of seasons).

Below the necks of men craned with held breath
savored before swallowing, silent, fixated on her feet
             so light heel toe heel toe.

Bending but not breaking and then her
return to earth. She stood in the uncut grass
             as the men circled up silent

eyes oversized waiting for stories of a new God—
             God caged in ribs, pouring from pores, pressed
             into pocketed pills;

God electricity in the dust, exploding with flowers and the seeds of flowers
             God like stardust over the valley,
                          God: re-author of the twilight.