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By Matthew J. Andrews

(after Scott Erickson’s The Lamb Who Was Who Is and Is to Come)


Crack the earth open like an egg

and watch magma spill out as yolk.

Rip a lamb apart like a loaf of bread

and watch the innards tumble as seeds.

To seek is nothing more than to lust

for dissection, the opening of flesh like a door,

and to mourn when it is yet another hallway,

another stack of boulders awaiting dynamite.

Cut the straps that hold your body together

and watch another you emerge from the rubble,

and from him, another, each image

a little less runny, each a little more clear.


Pilgrim breath

kneels, bows, settles

into a rhythm of prayer,

of repetitive incantation –

fill me,

be filled by me.

The temple lungs swell

and retract with the words,

echoing them back,

emitting them through open windows

like smoke from a candle.

The wine ripples

when the heart pitches

like a tuning fork.

Each half of lamb

bleats back at the other.


As we are commissioned,

we bury both part of the lamb

in the dirt, put our lips

against the soil, and pray

as the corpse disintegrates

into nourishment, evangelists

for congregations unseen.

As we are commanded,

we splinter the staff over our knees,

sprinkle shards into the soil,

and watch as a tree emerges,

branches sagging with fruit, golden

like a king’s crown,

and then we take and we eat.


Matthew J. Andrews is a private investigator and writer. He is the author of I Close My Eyes and I Almost Remember, and his poetry has appeared in Rust + Moth, Pithead Chapel, and EcoTheo Review, among others. He can be contacted at, or reached @mattislistening on Instagram and @2glassandrews on Twitter.


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