A Literary Magazine in Support of the Jewish Community

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Two Poems by Katie Manning

When God Looked Down

because she’d smelled the baking bricks   |   and wondered what the humans were up to this time   |   she saw the tower   |   and the men trying to be big and famous   |   instead of spreading across the earth like she’d said   |   building this tower as if they were the witches to imprison her   |   climbing it as if they could be the ones to save her too   |   she did not let down her hair   |   but dropped down herself   |   nothing you plan will be possible   |   she said   |   if you won’t listen to me   |   you won’t understand each other either   |   and their speech shattered into languages   |   the men stopped building   |   and before the people scattered across the whole earth   |   the supervisor shouted   |   why can’t you all just speak English!   |   but everyone   |   even God   |   ignored him

Wrestling with God

       after Genesis 32:22-32 & WWF Superstars 1991

Is it the oil under bright lights, or

does this man glow

as he steps into the ring? I slip

through the ropes, but

my body feels as stiff as my lost Hulk

Hogan action figure.

The shining man

has reached Andre-the-Giant proportions.

We dance around for show—

the crowd

booms—then the bell: Butterfly

Suplex, Elbow

Drop, Double

Underhook Facebuster,

Kneeling Belly-to-Belly Piledriver,

Scoop Slam.

We’re locked together now, and

this man tells me he’s done, I can let go, but

no, I’ve seen this trick before.

“Bless me first,”

I say. He agrees, reaching out to ring the bell.

I open my hands

to accept the miracle, but now I see

his face:

dark mustache, wavy hair.

He pulls a brown

bag from under the ring and slowly

removes a python. “This

is Damien’s big brother, Lucifer,”

he says, gently

setting scales to my bare

hip, and the lights blind, the crowd

jeers, but I can’t tell which of us is the heel

and which the face

in the midst of so much hissing.

Katie Manning

Katie Manning is the founding editor-in-chief of Whale Road Review and a professor of writing at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. She’s the author of Tasty Other, which won the 2016 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award, and her second full-length collection, Hereverent, was recently published by Agape Editions. Her poems have appeared in American Journal of Nursing, december, The Lascaux Review, New Letters, Poet Lore, Thimble, and many other venues. You can find her on Twitter @iamkatmann and her website www.katiemanningpoet.com.



Katie Manning