“Woman with Alabaster Jar” by Amanda Auchter

                If you could taste me, 
I would taste of sour wine, street 

dust, stale bread. I am nothing— 
a woman in a brown cloak, 

unadorned. But how I want 
to be beautiful for you, to kneel 

at your feet, brush my tears 
into your skin. Forgive me— 

I love too much. I open my jar, 
pour spikenard onto your stone-

bruised feet. My heart is muskroot, 
brambles, chipped alabaster. 

I wipe myself into you with my hair, 
press my lips to your feet, 

once, twice. Your hands fill with 
my wanting, my hair, little 

yellow flowers I wore for you. 
This strange desire between us— 

you, wanting to save me 
and me, unable to be saved. 

Amanda Auchter the author of The Wishing Tomb, winner of the 2013 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Poetry and the 2012 Perugia Press Book Award, and The Glass Crib, winner of the 2010 Zone 3 Press First Book Award for Poetry. Her recent work appears or is forthcoming at The Huffington Post, CNN, Crab Creek Review, The Indianapolis Review, and The West Review. She lives in Houston, TX.

Image by Destinee Dearbeck

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