So Abraham went and took the ram and offered
it up as a burnt offering in place of his son.
I was born out of terror,
horn-caught and tangled,
pulled from the brush
with a cry of thorn and leaf.
I would have given my coat,
in another life. In another life,
I would have mounted a mate,
our dirt-warm rut and clover
desirings, to sow new bodies
larking across the fields.
Instead, there was branch
and scratch, a figure dragging me
from the thicket-dark, my cheek
held to stone, and after that,
a clearing in the pale, deep
meadow of my throat.
Jehanne Dubrow is the author of seven poetry collections, most recently American Samizdat (Diode), and a book of nonfiction, throughsmoke (New Rivers). She is professor of creative writing at the University of North Texas.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.