God As Sicily

I am always lost in a desert. If there is sand or dust,
I am on my knees begging to start an honest life
with rain. In delirium, I kill a swordfish, use its silver
skin as a blindfold against the dust. I have never wanted
to see beauty or the blisters of a hero’s journey. I made
these mountains unmerciful – full of fire, venom, thorn.
How can you say god without garlic in your mouth?
What kind of god will let his name live in an abscessed throat?
In a lemon grove, there is enough fruit to start a new sky,
yellow globes littering their own light. I am holding hell
in my bowels and there is a map that shows how to get there:
go down, go down, go down. On the highway, women hail
cars and offer their suffering as pleasure. What alchemy,
what cherished recipes. I do not know an Aphrodite or Hestia
that wouldn’t give up her myth to be a scar on my thigh.
The men, they are busy scything the wheat’s hair and this is
the greatest hurt I let them know. Come to god, come through
the flat churchyard, the holy cave, the lava flow, the ruin.
Worship is a crypt where your body will last. This life is sulpher
and peasantry, a barren land that mirrors the mind. The Madonna
cries because god is a castle where no one stays. If you draw
trinacrias in the dirt, I will trust that you have hunger beyond your figs.
If you run towards me on three legs, I will dedicate an entire famine
to your loneliness, your centaurs, your radiant godless fate.

Meghan Privitello is the author of A New Language for Falling Out of Love (YesYes Books, 2015) and the forthcoming chapbook Notes on the End of the World (Black Lawrence Press, 2016). Poems have appeared in Boston Review, Kenyon Review Online, Gulf Coast, A Public Space, Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a NJ State Council of the Arts Fellowship in Poetry.