top of page
Jonathan Everitt

Song of Ecdysis

I emerged from a blood bath and slipped through scalpel’s slice.
But this was merely my primordial ooze. Later, doggy paddled
from a baptistry to a lonely island in the sun.

Leapt from a ship bound for America and a crop of New
Jersey tomatoes plump and troubled in the coastal sand.
Burrowed my way out of Old Testament Philadelphia

in search of a different love. Lord, what bones are these
that share the DNA with your two princes: one fallen,
one ascended? And which is mine? Egg. Womb. Seed.

Germ of rebellion in a teddy bear overboard on boyhood’s boat.
Forgive me, Mother, I am born again and again. I asked
my heart to come inside me in a torrent of stardust and sea salt.

For which of my births must I repent to be saved? I want
to dazzle in the fire of every damned soul who’s ever ventured
down below. I’m the boy who cried wolf to be devoured, not rescued.

Oh precious tribe, bear me in a cave, paint my name
and countenance in cobalt and blood on your walls.
Carve an abyss there for every mask I’ve ever borne.
Jonathan Everitt’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Laurel Review, BlazeVox, Scarlet Leaf Review, Small Orange, Impossible Archetype, Ghost City Press, The Bees Are Dead, The Empty Closet, Lake Affect, and the Moving Images poetry anthology, among others. His poem, “Calling Hours,” was the basis for the 2015 short film, Say When. Jonathan has also led a workshop for LGBTQ poets and co-founded the long-running monthly open mic, New Ground Poetry Night, in Rochester, N.Y., where he lives with his partner, David Sullivan. He earned his MFA in creative writing from Bennington College.
bottom of page