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'XYLEM & PHLÖEM' by Manal Kara at No Place Gallery, Columbus

Suburbs are the perfect
habitat for deer. Jesus said
 
they make the dumb
tongues of men sing.
Their antlers branch
 
until the leaves fall off
and the earth gives up
its privates. Around my head
the background blurs.
 
I’m waiting for a storm to end
in a Styrofoam grotto
outside the catholic church on Tower Rd.
For some reason, god has
 
imprinted us with a desire
for divinity that is awakened
within cave-like structures. I’ve heard that
 
to reach enlightenment,
all you have to do is touch the earth.
God as lakes.
 
Once, I held an injured bat. Intimacy
is sharing something private. Saint Jeremiah complained,
but only after being ridiculed for an entire day.
 
Later, he would prove his faith by purchasing
a plot of land outside the city.
 
Dante and Virgil walked through rain
to touch the future.
 
My cats hide inside the closet
to avoid the vacuum.
 
We’re pretty sure an exit does exist.
But the ocean is more knowable than
what comes next. I focus
 
on the sound of water. All my friends
are waiting for me
 
to slip, laments Saint Jeremiah. No wonder
he was so ashamed of what he saw. Neon
 
loosening the night. Like every reason is
an un-reason. You know
 
the love that eats?
The love you eat from?
 
It burns through you
Like the lord himself. Heaven
Is whatever
death that lasts
forever.


— Elaine Kahn

15.5.21 — 2.6.21

No Place Gallery

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