In a house occupied
with the smell of fish feasts,
voices gnarled like fig trees,
and the rhythm of feet learning balance on stone floors,
the vessel of the long-expected
grows a secret
As cells multiply
and burrow deep into soft lining
as brain and heart form
a one and only God-man,
she fears disgrace
The prophet said Immanuel
but when will this God be with us?
In cries that strike at the midwife’s ears?
When the scent of soap rises from skin
barely touched by a world that will tear his flesh?
No, not God with us,
God with her,
the lonely young virgin with a secret Spirit instead of lover
knows the son of man
as intimately as blood.