Epiphany for Alexandra: January 8, 2017, Maggie Rosen

Gillian Sargeant, St. Michael, 72″ X 24″

 

Epiphany for Alexandra: January 8, 2017

 

1.
Feast of the kings began with slicing
the tattoo off her hand.

She set up their lord,
he died,
she paid.

They promised her grass,
led her like a camel
to one last look at her guilt.

She crawled, shivering, shirtless, through a sewer pipe;
they stabbed her with sticks and “steel.”

On the video they made
(proof for the gang)–
A killer named Venus
says “I’ll see you in hell,
remember my face.”

The kings brought myrrh,
embalming resin, to remind Jesus of death.
Gangs remind us of death,
Salvador reminds us of passion.
Dead girls remind us of nothing.

Children wake in El Salvador to gifts from the Magi
Alexandra wakes in hell
in her quinceñera dress.

2.
Two years before:
You sat in my sixth grade math class.
Brought from, sent for, to avoid the violence
back home. No English, minimal math.

Meg is playing a card game with her friend Iona. The cards have positive and negative
numbers printed on them. Meg exclaims: ‘The absolute value of the number on my card
equals 8!’ What is the number on Meg’s card?”

Did you lure him to death:
are you positive or negative?

Either way,
your distance from our classroom is equal.
We are waiting for your answer.

Your inscrutable smile
gave no heat, no satisfaction;
Venus must have been fuming,
sitting on top of you with the knife.

They gave Jesus wine and myrrh at death;
wrapped his body in myrrh and aloes.
In what way did God forsake him?

They say you probably lived
23 minutes after the video’s end:
Alexandra,
traveling at the rate of despair
in one direction
when did you arrive?
What card were you holding?

___________________
Maggie Rosen

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