Issue #10

The Gospel According to Mary Magdalene

 Chapter One

Now that it has been raining for years, she

is finally being eroded. The water courses against soil

changing the paths of Galilee, and he

is being exposed as a myth. He was titled the son

and welcomed into the womb to strangle Mary’s song

from inside, until her memory held the silence

Chapter Two

of a mute linguist. Then, their idle tales used this silence

to force the seven devils upon her until, like baptized iron oxidized, she

was corroded. Learn that her natural siren song

was too beautiful and tempting, so she collected the soil

to save years of grime, and stories. But always the son

spoke the first language, and her penance was to listen as he

Chapter Three

told her she was loved. She wept at his feet. Heard as he

forced letters down her gullet and initiated her voice into silence.

But Mary’s intrinsic purity still accentuated the son,

remaining intangible in the falling letters that warped her

memorial. So not once, but over and over she will wash soil

and sweat from his feet, with tears and hair, and give up her song

Chapter Four

to all the Johns and Matthews of time. There’s no end to a song

degraded at the creation: just a place to watch as he

dragged the curious cross in the dirt. Even the enlivened soil

was stripped back to a skull and raised the clamorous silence

of a crucifixion. It was her breasts, bloodied and bared, as she

hung exposed, speared to the foreground. But still a new son

Chapter Five

was beloved and everyone watched the wrong Mary. The son

rose with a family, and blindly encouraged the sinner’s song,

the Magdalene whisper, about the one who never made it to be a mother.

Either Jesus did not surrender, or greater was her sacrifice, for he

only forsook Earth for Heaven’s immortality in the written scripture.

After, twelve points of light pierced his tomb, but they stitched the soil

Chapter Six

tight over her body. To weigh her down. Pin her up. But that soil

will soon make a Magdalene. Carve one bed, then many paths where the sun

will reflect, glittering, between earthy banks, for her fury will be the silence

of a river. In harmony with countless estuaries and other chorded songs,

she will be the first melody since those frigid cold springs. Perhaps he

is image - pure and white and virginal, but never as powerful as she.

Chapter Seven

Out of Mary grew that silence,

but first her voice a hinge for one image:

‘I have seen the Lord’. A vain picture

in the mind’s eye, carved from soil

and ready to be washed clean

in the purer, singing springs

of a Magdalene river.

Catriona McLean

© 2014