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Before All Things

By Tania Runyan Poetry

The day Christ died a record-long freight train barreled through the Rollins Road crossing. For seven minutes tankers and lumber flats vibrated through the spikes in his wrists. A fisherman dropped his pole by the retention pond and headed toward the hill. A girl at a bus stop clutched her side as the embryo implanted…

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Onesimus

By Tania Runyan Poetry

Since I stole your money, Philemon, and even more, myself, the body that broke earth and stacked stones at daybreak while you slept, you have every right to lash me till the whites of my intestines show, brand FUG on my forehead, or throw me to the lions, who love especially the taste of escaped…

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A Quick Interpretation of the Sixth Seal

By Tania Runyan Poetry

The sun turning to sackcloth means nothing to see here; all the sheeted corpses look the same. The moon surging with blood equals the deaths your butterfly wings effected while you slept. And the stars sizzling at your feet like Epsom salts are his way of saying you’ve lost your chances with time and space.…

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The Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse

By Tania Runyan Poetry

You say you will never forsake us then send a horse the color of decaying flesh to wipe out a fourth of the earth. God does not will woe, the pastor says. Disaster unfolds from our own misdeeds. We sing, lift hands. The drummer kicks out mercy and grace. But I still see the horse…

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The First Horse of the Apocalypse

By Tania Runyan Poetry

You were born a swath of frost in the clover, nudged up on icicle legs. Now you cut through men like a derecho, sulfur and Sodom in your nostrils, entrails winding your hooves. I am trying to believe that God doesn’t will destruction, that out of love he allows our terrible freedoms to gallop across…

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