Mary Explains Annunciation
Devon Miller-Duggan (bio)

I was a child then, but not young enough
to remember angels.
The light of it opened and closed
like folds in smith’s bellows—
I thought bellow-wing and almost laughed.

And the voice-not-voice hammered.
I heard it in my breastbone, thud-ringing
every direction.

I was woman enough not to believe “Fear not!”
It brought fear. It told me I could take a word inside myself and
make it flesh.
Halfway through my own word, I could
already feel the stones breaking themselves on my bones,
blood in my hair, rocks pawing—
the first things to rub against my flesh since
my mother’s hands. But

I am from a line of women who danced
with timbrels and swords for their god,
men who built and killed for their god,
and, even as a small girl, I wanted to be a psalm.

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