Features issue 31 poetry

The Alpha’s Attorney: Opening Statement

by Jenny Molberg

Ink Bamboo by Cynthia Yatchman

The Alpha’s Attorney: Opening Statement

Briefly, your Honor. Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.[1] This is what the LORD says: In the place where dogs licked up the Alpha’s blood, dogs will lick up your blood—yes, yours![2] For dogs have surrounded him; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed him. They pierced his hands and feet.[3] She that killeth an ox is as if she slew a man; she that sacrificeth a lamb, as if she cut off a dog’s neck; she that offereth an oblation, as if she offered swine’s blood; she that burneth incense, as if she blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their souls delighteth in their abominations.[4]

[1] Deuteronomy 23:18

[2] 1 Kings 21:19

[3] Psalm 22:16

[4] Isaiah 66:3

Jenny Molberg is the author of three poetry collections: Marvels of the Invisible (Tupelo Press, 2017), Refusal (LSU Press, 2020), and The Court of No Record (forthcoming from LSU Press, 2023). An NEA fellow, her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in VIDA, Ploughshares, The Missouri Review, The Rumpus, The Adroit Journal, AGNI, Oprah Quarterly, and other publications. She is an Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Central Missouri, where she directs Pleiades Press and edits Pleiades magazine.

Cynthia Yatchman is a Seattle-based artist and art instructor. She shows extensively in the Pacific Northwest. Past shows have included Seattle University, the Tacoma and Seattle Convention Centers, and the Pacific Science Center. Her art is housed in numerous public and private collections.