1 min Contemporary Poetry

In Marduk's Temple

Mark J. Mitchell

It’s hot today. I’m glad they built no tent
though men will come just to watch women now.
This goatskin’s soft under my knees, my garment
pillows my head. Cups—for water, for rent—
rest before me, stuck in this active bow.

Young boys walk around. Some carry the cool

water we women need. Some want to choose
one or another. It’s only one day
each cycle. It can be sweet, almost play
but I mostly close my eyes. I won’t see
their faces. It’s better that way. God sees

my offering—and the coins the boys drop
in that other cup. I know it will stop
when sun sinks and the slivered moon rises.
I wash between. Roll on my back. Hot sky
above my belly. I feel like a cat
sometimes. Other girls don’t. I must be odd.
A breeze through the temple gate. So that’s that.
I wonder whose child I will bear to the god.

Image of Mark J. Mitchell

Mark J. Mitchell

By way of a bio:
Mark J. Mitchell was born in Chicago and grew up in southern California. He has published four full-length collections of poetry and several chapbooks.
He is very fond of baseball, Louis Aragon, Miles Davis, Kafka and Dante. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the activist and documentarian, Joan Juster, where he made his marginal living pointing out pretty things. Now, like everyone else, he’s unemployed.
He has published two novels and three chapbooks and two full length collections so far. Titles on request.
A meager online presence can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/MarkJMitchellwriter/

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