blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



Lemon Breast of the Virgin Mary

Up near the neck,
sticking out from unperforated cloth
like some new miracle,
it’s shaped like a small lemon.
Young Jesus reaches for lemonade,
or bites the rind.
Mary does not seem alarmed
at her partial transformation to tree
like a common nymph.
She never seems surprised
to have given birth to an old man.
She does not even seem to notice
the encroaching cross, appearing
at the edge of the painting.
She is the essence of vegetal calm,
unlike her Roman counterparts,
so much pleading to remain a virgin from the gods.

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