Featured Poet - Katie Manning

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Featured Poet Katie Manning

Featured Poet Katie Manning

The Gospel of the Bleeding Woman

 “Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him…”
        Matthew 9:20

“And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years.”
        Mark 5:25 and Luke 8:43

I touched his cloak. This much is certain. Suddenly I had no name. Suddenly I inhabited a body split in three. I had been blood’s subject for 12 years. I had seen doctors. One time doctors didn’t exist. One time my voice didn’t exist. Other times I heard voices in my head. Then I touched his white cloak. I explained myself. He knew without asking. Always he called me Daughter, Daughter, Daughter, and said Your faith has healed you. Then he said Go in peace. Then he said Go in peace and be freed from your suffering. Then he said nothing and walked off to find a dead girl. I touched his cloak. Suddenly I was alone. Suddenly I didn’t exist. I walked home in a trance and fell asleep with my sandals on. I didn’t wake up in time to see how our stories would end.

(First published in So to Speak)

Where Death Is Not an Is

         after Brian Henry

I met Jesus the next day
at the Life Café. “Call me
J now,” he said. “People
lock me up when I say

I am God.” He pulled
back his sleeves to show
the marks on his arms
from recent shots. I asked

what I could do. “Just lie
low,” he said between
bites of falafel. ”Dead
is the way the world wants

us. People hate to feel
alive.” We ate in silence
for a while. Then I asked,
“What happens to us?”

He wiped his young hands
and stood to leave. “We are
finished,” and kissed my cheek.
I put my hand on his arm

and told him the scars would be
beautiful when they healed.

(First published in Fickle Muses)

Katie Manning is the author of three poetry chapbooks, including The Gospel of the Bleeding Woman (Point Loma Press, 2013). Her poems have been published in Fairy Tale Review, New Letters, PANK, Poet Lore, So to Speak, and many other journals and anthologies. She enjoys beaches, books, board games, and alliteration. Find her online at www.katiemanningpoet.com.