By Matthew J. Andrews
Jonah Cast into the Sea by James Patrick Reid. Used with the artist's permission.
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(after James Patrick Reid’s Jonah)
Of course I doubted him: crazed man
of dust blown in by the wind, waterlogged
eyes, salt baked onto his skin, demanding
penance in the name of a god foreign
to my ears, telling stories dripping wet
with madness. But he took my hand
with surprising strength and guided
my fingers down the length of his arm,
to the wounds riddling him like pockmarks,
those places where the grave’s teeth tore
into the skin, and to the patches burned
with the corrosive splash of sheol’s stomach,
and as I imagined the pain his god
had made him endure, he drew my eyes
up to his and asked me: do you now believe?
Matthew J. Andrews is a private investigator and writer from California. He is the author of the chapbook I Close My Eyes and I Almost Remember, and his work has appeared in Relief, Rust + Moth, Pithead Chapel and EcoTheo Review, among others. He can be contacted at matthewjandrews.com.
James Patrick Reid is an artist and theologian. His website is sacredpaintings.org.