Becka Mara McKay

Deuteronomy 16:22 and the Monument Problem

There’s a chapel in Texas that rhymes Rothko
with God. If amnesty were another name

for God. Or blues in the throat. Or
gather without kneeling. And beside

the chapel, stone splitting water like a prod
for all the cattle in heaven. Latched

to the divine with a single granite
tooth. We put up stone pillars all the time,

or worse: We lift our soldiers skyward,
leave them aloft to gather pigeon shit

and rain. We made a myth for how their horses’
feet find the ground. Four hooves down?

He died in his sleep. As if hooves were
death’s true escorts, trundling

our passage across the river. Amnesty
knows where the obols go when the flesh

frees itself from bone. A coin
on the spine will ferry us nowhere.

We broke this boat. Nobody
is coming back for us.

Becka Mara McKay directs the Creative Writing MFA at Florida Atlantic University. Her chapbook of prose poems, Happiness Is the New Bedtime, was published in 2016 by Slash Pine Press. Other publications include a book of poetry, A Meteorologist in the Promised Land (Shearsman), and several translations of fiction and poetry from Modern Hebrew. Her work can be found in recent issues of Colorado Review, Cream City Review, Forklift Ohio, Interim, Iron Horse Literary Review, Ninth Letter, and Ploughshares.
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