And Abraham took the wood for the offering and put it on Isaac, his son, and he took in his hand
the fire and the cleaver and the two of them went up together.
To adhere firmly and closely, or loyally and unwaveringly: to cleave.
To divide by, or as if by, a cutting blow, to split: to cleave.
Words we don’t understand built our story before it happened. Stories—
Slapped on in the stickiness of childhood—cleave
The personal and the mythological, inseparable like ink in skin. I ask them to explain
Your thumbprints in the hollow of my throat. Violence cleaves
Two people—before it breaks them apart—because stories have made violence natural.
Heavy and ridiculous—like the fuel for Isaac’s pyre placed on his own back—you cleave
Relentlessly to me, and I respond predictably. So when your knuckles break my teeth
You don’t need to say anything. As if on cue, my horns are stuck in the bushes, my
kicking hooves cloven.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 1.
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