Over the week-end, I got my contributor copy of Naugatuck River Review. I'm happy to be included with such great writers.
The journal calls itself a journal of narrative poetry that sings, and I've been interested to see the many varieties of narrative poetry. That being said, my poem that was chosen isn't as traditionally narrative poetry as others I've written. It tells a story, but it doesn't have the same narrative arc as some of my work.
This poem is part of my series of poems that imagines Jesus moving about in the modern world. These poems may strike some as humorous, some as heretical, but I've always tried to create spiritual truth out of this narrative situation.
I haven't been to spin class in several weeks. My spouse was sick which took out one day, and then I pulled my back which took a week. Last week was full of car swapping as we got the basic maintenance done.
These days, it seems like basic maintenance, and often a poor version of it at that, is taking up more and more of my time. I am just exhausted by it all. But I try to make sure the dishes are washed and the laundry done, even if not put away. The bills are paid, and I'm staying on top of my work-for-pay. Maybe that's enough.
I suspect the Jesus in this poem would tell me that it is.
Spinning Our Wheels
Jesus joined our spin class.
He came without a water bottle,
but we let him stay. We weren’t sure
about his sandals, but he seemed to manage.
Jesus has heard our prayers
for bodies that conform.
Jesus understands our shame
over the splotches and stains
from bodies that can’t contain themselves.
Jesus watches us sweat and slurp
our water, a friendly competition
to see who works out hardest,
measured in liquid units.
Jesus thinks about ancient purity codes,
the woman who had bled for over a decade,
and the blind man healed with spit and sand.
Jesus pedals faster and ponders
the human attitude towards body
fluids, our desperate attempts
to contain our essential selves
which want to flow towards the sea.