OF DEBORAH


Deborah was a prophetess.
She sat under a palm tree 
and knew what you’re doing tomorrow. 
All around, armies.
A city burned etcetera.
Tomorrow you’re buying pants.
Deborah is a terrible name for a prophetess. 
She knows you think so. 
Chariots, she says, sucking a plum stone.
Scorpions and nettles.
Toy guns in gumball machines, says Deborah, wondering
what the words mean. 
A drunk sleeps next to the well.
Sometimes she wonders what’s prophesy, what’s 
merely obvious. Drought, 
says Deborah, her throat drying out.
Squinches up her brow and knows 
your woman will be unfaithful.
Locusts arrow out of the sky, down her dress.
Tsk, says Deborah. 
Old men bring offerings: dead deer, dead 
hen, some resin. 
Deborah is exhausted from telepathically 
excising sorrow from a shepherd
across town.
She wants to screw oblivion 
but your future keeps showing up!
She lets the goat lick salt from her palm.
She knows the man will have the tent-pin jammed 
into his skull, but chooses 
not to warn him. Who am I 
to reroute history, says Deborah, employing
the metaphor of the stone placed in the current.
The goat wanders off. 
Deborah sees the wires running under 
everything. 
Deborah knows there’s a mouse in the cistern.