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Tania Runyan

The Angel Over Patmos

Such a burden of beasts
and rainbows, sulfur and emeralds
leaking from his knapsack
as John hunches in a cave down there,
picking at a skeleton of fish.
The body resists exile.
Even the smallest burrowing mite
is enough to make John claw his skin,
saltwater stiffening his hair
like the driftwood he tries to burn.
Any sort of trance is impossible
to achieve when shifting on rocks,
the fabric of your robe sticking
in your crack. But with time,
the Spirit will come.
The angel doodles dragons
in the air. He circles like a plane on hold
and waits for the one twilight
John will sigh, lift his chapped hands,
and receive his words like wounds.

—Tania Runyan

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