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So Abraham went and took the ram and offered 
it up as a burnt offering in place of his son. 

                                                  —Genesis 22:13 


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.



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