Cibola 46

This entry is part 45 of 119 in the series Cibola


Marcos 2

Rising from his midday rest, the friar
rinses his face, tilts back the onetime
wineskin for a drink
of tepid water. A hint of sulphur.

Ye shall drink
from the cup I drink from
he murmurs in Latin, & passes
it back.

Again that dream from the wilderness
of the Old Testament:
the brass serpent God ordered Moses
to affix to a desert snag
as prophylactic for a plague of snakes–
Gaze upon it & live. This time

the tree’s a green giant, stout
buttresses armored with spines like
a church turned into an engine of war,
branches like arms bent at the elbows,
upraised–the by-now familiar gesture
signing Welcome:
we are unarmed (true),
we have nothing worth taking
(a diplomat’s strategic lie).

Just below the top there’s a hole,
a gaping hollow, where
a pair of gold coins shimmers
& blinks. The little owl
shall also nest there
he thinks,
recalling the prophet’s sketch of desolation
with a smile. Further evidence
Scripture anticipated these lands
unknown to Aristotle or Seneca.

(To be continued.)

the brass serpent: see Numbers 21:9

The little owl shall also nest there: Isaiah 34:14

Series Navigation← Cibola 45Cibola 47 →
Posted in

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.