Green Hills Literary Lantern





In the Gallery of the Madonnas


I see her discarded clothes. They suggest

A tormented sea. She wants to speak. I

Am speaking with you, Madonna. When

you shout, Lady, bend your blue thighs,

open them wide and vulnerable. That

red blossom contending in tangled vines;

that snagged, red-marbled skull, is your son,

he thrives. When you hurt, Black Madonna,

I am here to hold you, not to tell you his

Lids are already sealed. Black Madonna,

Lady of Blue Flowers, I must tell you

what you cannot see. It is here, all around

you: the green chairs, the woman who

has taken back the sea, the child in her

arms with the face of a man. Lower your

lids, Black Madonna. Be the white

moon above the green sea. The white

iris depending on its pale green stem.





Lisa Low’s poetry, reviews, interviews, and academic essays have appeared in or are forthcoming from The Valparaiso Review, The Massachusetts Review, Good Works Review, The Boston Review, The Potomac Review, Tusculum Review, Delmarva Review, Evening Street Review, The Virginia Normal, Phoebe, Crack the Spine, Broken Plate, Lit Break Magazine, Boomer Lit Mag, Spillway, Streetlight Magazine, Cross Currents, Woolf Studies Annual, and Intro 11,among others. She is one of the editors of Milton, the Metaphysicals, and Romanticism (Cambridge University Press in 1994). She received her doctorate in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts and spent twenty years as an English professor, teaching at Cornell College; Colby College; and Pace University. In addition to her work as an educator, Low has been a film and theatre critic for Christian Science Monitor Broadcasting.

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