A.E. Stallings, “Amateur Iconography: Resurrection”

Jesus is back—he’s harvesting the dead.
He’s pulling them up out of the dirt like leeks—
By the scruff of the neck, by the wispy hair on the head,

Like bulbs in darkness sallowly starting to grow
From deep down in the earth where the lost things go—
Keys and locks, small change, old hinges, nails.

(That’s why the living beseech the dead, who know
Where missing objects lie.) Jesus has a grip
On Adam by the left wrist—he will not slip—

And Eve, by her right. They’re groggy and don’t understand,
They died so long ago. With trembling lip,
Adam surveys the crowds of new people. And Eve
Looks up the emptiness of her limp left sleeve

For the hand that was unforgiven and is no more,
Ages since withered to dust, and starts to grieve
The sinister loss, recalling the heft in that hand
Of the flesh of the fruit, and the lightness at the core.

A.E. Stallings, “Amateur Iconography: Resurrection”
(published at The Atlantic, 2003)

Published by Catherine Addington

I am a translator from Spanish to English and a writer on saints, myths, and icons in both religious and secular contexts.

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