Rhythms: Jesus on a Napkin

Forensic Anthropologist drawing of Jesus, B&W rendering

by Lisa Marie Popp


Look, the dandelions

and their seeds,

How wild the shoots, willows in March

and a cloud, as if weather taught progress,

shifts the duck inland.


Your light meter flickers.

Eels that were on the track of cows

stop for two seconds,

and pray, until it liquifies,

to the milk: a gritty photo.


I make a mark, erase it with the next.

The chickens, nuns, birds, the scarecrows

and coming home,

talked into the ground radical,

if I went faster, mushrooms came to meet me:

love engendering heavenward.


Look, the running wild horse accelerates,

the snail it straddles

Look how the cooking woman in me

squeezes lemons with her swollen hand:

See what I exclude.


Your changing shutters.

Your little handbags of pills

and clenched tears.


Jesus, snap my footsteps!

the remnants, the bottles, and my cigarette butts

which i inhale, for days, to honor you

and prove myself: the smoke.


Little obsession slip of a thing

but it eats and drinks

what i provide: the lettuce with onion,

once exposed,

a rapid brush sketch,

and mystified: crashing apples with silence,

teeth after

have i bequeathed.


Your release

now, now and now!

Agfa color, Agfa color declare the ducks

colored on shallow water.

But my dream is grey etched

and rained out, on both banks of the river

fugitive horizons….


Suddenly, again, feeling

Stutter on fresh paper

as if your angels, the flys, 

had no quarrel here.

Face to face they stand, estranged,

wait for the fluke, form a legend….


He wiped the sweat off with his napkin,

and handed down his face.

Evening tide, i keep on drawing,

so that the flood,

this, that, and you, too,

figured into sand,

if, like dust, i could no longer

attach myself to me.


Whatever crowds in, heaps up, accumulates

Whatever brings a space

all its own

Now I am the teacher and still am amazed….


Look how freely in this space i am,

and sieve the blackness, gray, grey,

the compulsion that insists on white.


Look at the closed eye,

Look at the doll,

Now the visitors have gone.

Look at the table used

The bones of the bones

Carefully, the light touch:

in your praise.