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Published: Sun Jul 1 2007
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.
Report of the Witness

delivered at the Temple of the Forgotten, 8 Men, 13 Pax

Sire, because he loved the girl so much
_                                       _ he took her to pieces.

Each piece of her became a part of his own body.
_                                                                                                   _ Her little fingers slipped
inside his belly. Her left foot pushed
_                                                                             _ against the ticking
of his chest. Her long hair rested like a curtain
_                                                                                                 _ on his brain.

He held her severed arm against the light and licked
the pucker where the flesh was sheared away.

He studied how the ball
_                                                   _ would couple with its socket.

When he slept her thighs drew up inside his thighs, her knees
bent into his, her little slit pressed against his cock.

When he woke, he saw with her eyes.

Because he loved so much
_                                       _ he had nowhere to put his love.

He had to make this single moment.

He would go that far for love:
_                                       _ Beyond all human law
_                                       _ or sympathy.

It was himself he killed.
_                                                   _ (He chose her because she understood.)
It was himself he loved.
_                                                   _ (He had to get inside himself.)
He didn’t want to be alone.
_                                                   _ (He needed a witness.)
He wanted to consume every part of her.
_                                                   _ (The way the earth consumes the dead.)

Sire, she understood.
She gave her only life so that he should not perish.

He watched with her in the pit for three days
_                                                                                             _ before he rose
_                                                                                             _ with her inside him.

Her spirit rendered him perfect in the flesh.

The perfect father. A father in love.

Jonathan Weinert serves as web editor of the letterpress journal Tuesday; An Art Project and as poetry editor of the online journal Perihelion. His first book of poems, _In the Mode of Disappearance _(Nightboat Books, 2008), was selected by Brenda Hillman for the 2006 Nightboat Poetry Prize. His work is appearing or forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, The Modern Review, Green Mountains Review, The Laurel Review, 32 Poems, and elsewhere. (11/2007)

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