Baptism of the Neophytes
Weight of water, heavy as light:
as if light, liquefied, tear-streamed
down his face, made his knees
two pale fishes. Head submissive,
hair a net awash with weighted light,
the way it seems to travel both over
and through―water on and in, merging
and drenching, seen and unseen, Holy Ghost
embracing the adopted son.
What is wet is alive—thirst, primordial birth.
Our cups runneth over. The mirroring face
of the waters, eye of the world, breath-fogged,
Spirit-breathed. Void and firmament,
chalice on a stem. To ripple the still surface
of substance seeming solid, but with infinite give.
Novice, naked and neck-bowed, be submerged
in the grave of the Christ, receive his blood,
blood-brotherhood, blood washing away blood-
guilt. Enter the floodwaters in the gut
of the Ark. Be born eternal in a second womb-
water. Harbor the bloodbeating heart, the heat,
holy, holy—drink it down like water-mixed wine.
Wine was water, once, and was made new.
So you. Hold your finite breath—dive deep.
LeighAnna Schesser is the author of Heartland, forthcoming from Anchor & Plume Press in June 2016. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Mothers Always Write, Rose Red Review, and Kindred, among others. LeighAnna earned her M.F.A. from North Carolina State University. She lives in Kansas with her husband and two children. She writes at leighannaschesser.wordpress.com.
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