Epiphany

By Joanie Mackowski b. 1963 Joanie Mackowski
A momentary rupture to the vision:
the wavering limbs of a birch fashion

the fluttering hem of the deity’s garment,
the cooling cup of coffee the ocean the deity

waltzes across. This is enough—but sometimes
the deity’s heady ta-da coaxes the cherries

in our mental slot machine to line up, and
our brains summon flickering silver like

salmon spawning a river; the jury decides
in our favor, and we’re free to see, for now.

A flaw swells from the facets of a day, increasing
the day’s value; a freakish postage stamp mails

our envelope outside time; hairy, claw-like
magnolia buds bloom from bare branches;

and the deity pops up again like a girl from
a giant cake. O deity: you transfixing transgressor,

translating back and forth on the border
without a passport. Fleeing revolutions

of same-old simultaneous boredom and
boredom, we hoard epiphanies under the bed,

stuff them in jars and bury them in the backyard;
we cram our closet with sunrise; prop up our feet

and drink gallons of wow!; we visit the doctor
because all this is raising the blood’s levels of

c6h3(oh)2chohch2nhch3, the heart caught
in the deity’s hem and haw, the oh unfurling

from our chest like a bee from our cup of coffee,
an autochthonous greeting: there. Who saw it?

Source: Poetry (November 2011).

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This poem originally appeared in the November 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2011
 Joanie  Mackowski

Biography

Joanie Mackowski’s collections of poems are The Zoo (2002) and View from a Temporary Window (2010). She received a BA from Wesleyan University, was a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, and received a PhD from the University of Missouri. A professor at Cornell University, she has worked as a French translator, a journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a juggler. She is the winner of the 2003 Kate Tufts . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Mind, Religion, God & the Divine

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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