Poem of the Week: “Exegesis” by Leila Chatti

Congratulations to RCAH alum, Leila Chatti, on the publication of her debut collection, Deluge! For ordering details click here.


I bled. God didn’t
want to hear about it. He said unclean
and so it was. He said it is
harm, and so it was.

Want to hear about it? He said unclean.
Once a woman wanted, so he did
her harm. And so it was
first conceived: a woman suffering

because a woman wanted. So he said
cursed. And then he said blessed
the woman chose to suffer, conceived
a god, though she never knew a man.

And God knows best. If He calls a curse a blessing
then so it is. And he said she was
clean—she never knew a man. I’ve known men but never a god
that bled and lived. But I did.

Copyright © 2020 Leila Chatti. From Deluge (Copper Canyon Press, 2020) by Leila Chatti.


Published by cpoetrymsu

The Center for Poetry opened in the fall of 2007 to encourage the reading, writing, and discussion of poetry and to create an awareness of the place and power of poetry in our everyday lives. We think about this in a number of ways, including through readings, shows, community outreach, and workshops. We are at work building a poetry community at MSU and in the greater Lansing area. Contact: cpoetry@msu.edu (517) 884-1932 http://www.poetry.rcah.msu.edu

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