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Dave Harrity

Threshing Floor



      Whip of him & drip of her:  dewy loin

& parts of wheat for offering: bran, endosperm, alurone, kernel—germs  tangled 

in her wool will eventually 

get washed away. To bake his bread—starch & batter, 

leave & leaven—to swallow down the barm. She lets go pieces of herself he could never cultivate—

same bright smile of spring stable 

   or winter slaughter, clots scrambled through the barley, 

ragged jelly thick-poured from her cup of life. An amaranth, an herb—reprimand inherited, 

desire for a rule—ark & omen each,

  & he’s closer now to looking like the god 

he thinks he is—the smell of blood does something strange to sovereignty: settlement ringed through her sep-


robe untied of salt & festered chaff, shrove & naked spread 

over his feet. This gift, this gift she's hidden in her jar—mother of the living. This hex, this hex 

he's pushed into her far—

father to the reddened dirt. How a rib’s arithmetic—

equationed sums to measure out the store, to calculate another life as yours—becomes 

dominion’s stillborn demonstration: shuck & seed 

  slipped across the vetch, insides 

slung and scripted on the floor. She's crawling up his legs to take a drink. & there’s no confusion 

here—no tare between the whey & waste: 

       tangles, freckled thighs, shoulders 

to the downing sun, pulsing where they've joined together, fell, & pulled apart. & water is blood 

& blood is water—oat-spangles smucked 

     on stony ground so to divide, divide; 

subtract, subtract: math of heaven, math of earth. She spreads his cloak & bleeds above the dust, inheritance


& laid aside—she gleans, bowing to a fallen stalk of wheat.






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