[a nativity poem in three trimesters]

The First Trimester

Miriam’s chromosome in courting spirals
Embraces another, such an other — an unfathomable Y.
All the junk, viral, evolutionary, specific, sanctified, elected, DNA of
humanity in his threadbare pockets. An utterly adopted son.

A why of Adam and of Miriam’s flesh
Of meiotic grace eternally begotten
your kingdom come on earth… hosanna
by two… and four… and eight… save us.

And yet…
those first weeks of waiting when the Ghost encroaching might be—
the Bright Messenger ventilating luminous bullshit—mistaken?
Might be the voice of constant indigestion
Might be my refugee guts longing for home.

for who can swallow a life?
for who can digest what has been?
how can this be?
It turns out that Virgins are not permitted here.

How does flesh tune its antibody tendencies to accept
this impossibly foreign, stooping Son?

Life brings forth vomit. Gaseous roiling anxiety
the swelling of a voice suppressed, pregnant with truths
the fluttery first signs of a divine invasion, an embryo?
where there was nothing, year by year, but nausea.

I am highly favoured
I am the Lord’s servant
I am troubled
I am longing uncertainty
Spewing magnificats
terrified anticipation
And hope, breathe, hope, breathe, hope hope hope.
O Come O Come…

Who has considered the morning sickness of the Mother of God?


Second Trimester

O Miriam, Cry in the wildness of your God.
Of the meanings of flesh he takes from you, multiple meanings.
Lie with me, face to face, breath to breath,
shoulder, breasts, hips, legs pressed
toes tangle them into mine. Feel that?

Throw yourself off the weather granite rock
Freestyling the echoes above the night billabong
That intense pendant locative specificity,
leaping, running naked, swimming in darkness
your lips, eyes closed. Feel that? Flesh is our gravity.

Whisper. Where you touch me and I am most not you
that—and the Lucien pressure in your chest—is flesh
Adjacency is flesh. When I breathe you in
And when I watch you curled around the bruised lump of hope
Inside you. Gestating a present Omnipresence.

How can this be? Flesh falling, into loneliness is flesh
Painting fat nudes on huge canvases is flesh
Morbid obesity drying in creamy layers, the scene of the anthropocene
transgressing until it folds and hangs drooling
on a mineral skeleton, in every landscape, is flesh.

Little one, flesh overflowing all bounds, sucking down the sky
Has it now claimed even Yah? Are you here, Emmanuel?
Or is flesh now everywhere? Are you my graven image?
Or Imago Dei. Metastatic flesh or hypostatic god?
I fear, Miri, O horror of the incarnation.

She sings… O Come, O Come…

The wicked lie abed a-planning
And rise refreshed to seize the day
the prophets lie in bed a dreaming
pastor-pushers lead astray
hope starved, golden cows a-lowing
every flat and pixeled image brays
Show thy face, O Rod of Jesse
Free our hearts from Babylon’s captivity

Rest your hand here, just here. Wait.
Did you feel it?
Of the womb bound god.
He writes inscrutable, interuterine schematics
Under my skin. Traces nova, faint fringes of his works press upon my palm;
“Who then can understand the thunder of his power?”
When I am the swelling gospel—boobs and belly and butt.


Third Trimester

A crack
The Jerusalem facing-wall
Weeps Light
And she wakes me whispering,
He Comes.

Light: photonic son of the creator;
Radiance in mission; resonating every spectrum of creation
—Crashing into her and she preaches him to me, clenching my hand.
Then she sinks into her labour and I cannot follow the word

the ticking silence, grainy light,
the warm sweetness of beasts shuffling, sitting
waiting in intervals of violence and sleep
he comes, he comes

I remember the fear in Miri’s eyes.
The hard plosive word of her water break.
The brine on her legs.
The wind, the quake, the fire passing.
Her voice, “THE LORD, THE LORD” breaking,
Cresting, weeping, no one may see his face and live,
Crashing, passing, all his glory.
Count out loud, Miri, breathe.
Nearly done, nearly done.
In your flesh you will see him.
Look! His crown.
He has come.

Naked, the dawn gasps for air
And cries out his first as his last
Making a way in the darkness
Somewhere on Jerusalem Road.

[There is a 4th part to this poem called ‘Resonance’ that is still a work in progress, stay tuned].

Antenatal Classes