francine rubin


Milk, flour, water growing

into bread; bodies clasping,
weaving, relaxing. Roots breathing

through caking earth; cells spinning

new cells, new bodies.
Ice on surfaces, sublimating.

In May at Daybreak

Soil painting soles,
sienna streaming arches.

Ebony tree: a cross
bearing infant fruit.

Gold on the horizon, illuming
cold earth and every corporality.

In January at Dusk

A custodia matutina
    usque ad noctem” – Psalm 130

Four o’clock, Janus. Low light
subsumes the Master’s hand shaping
the curve of skull, the angle
of wrought ribs.

Ivory, mauve, twilight to paint skin:
in rendering Christ’s death, he sees
his own, the requiem of bones beneath
finger nails, sores splitting at palms.

Oil bleeding color,
brush stroke pulsing on canvas
to conceive life from lines, shadows,
and light, his work is prayer.

Francine Rubin‘s chapbook, Geometries, is available from Finishing Line Press. Her work has recently appeared in Hawaii Review, The Light Ekphrastic, and Two Thirds North; her poem “Sacagawea” was the third place winner in Calyx Press’ 2013 Flash Fiction contest. More poems and thoughts appear at

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