Thursday, May 22, 2014

To Bathsheba, in Jerusalem: with Longing


The battle was won and the warriors made camp.
They drank wine, slaughtered and feasted on fatted calf,
one of the few left in our army's herd.
One warrior was left to clean the dishes.
The next day they rode towards the city,
fast and joyous, whooping and howling
for the men they had slain.
We took lodging in a city that night.
Some of the warriors took wives.
Some of the warriors decided to stay.
Some of them left their new brides
riding fast into the sun,
howling a warrior's howl,
hoping someone from the band of warriors
heard their cries of desperation.
In a night of intense and chilling darkness,
while huddled next to the fire,
I asked Micah why he left his new bride.
Why did he rejoin the group?
He said the day after they took their holy vows
and consummated their nuptials,
he woke up in her bed and stared out
through the wood window frame
and saw his new bride watering the desert grass
with an urn made of red clay.
Why would she water the grass?
We are in a drought.
He said she would not have made a good mother
and then Micah fell asleep, quietly weeping.
I remained awake for the rest of the night
thinking about the question.
No one in the army could clean their clothing.
We had not come across a river
or a pond or even a small puddle of water
outside of an urban landscape
in nearly twelve days.
Micah's clothing was clean
catching only its third night of wood fire.
I thought of you all night;
of your smile,
of your fleshy hips
and ample bosom.
Of your golden hair,
your bouncing and fidgety body.
I thought of your eyes
and of your pursed pink lips
and of shapely navel
and of your milky thighs
and even of your delicate toes.
I thought of you
until the only thing I could do was fall asleep.
Micah made the right decision in returning.
I did too.
This is why I write to you.
I long for the next time we meet, darling,
after our legions take the Ammonites.
With Love,
Uriah

Aaron C. Molden

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