Winter 2014 • Vol. XXXVI No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 2014 |

Wrestling with the Angel

—after Léon Bonnat First off, the wings were too perfect. Second, that the angel is both pushing the man with his left hand while embracing him with his right, the angel's right leg stretching away from the man while the left one is anchored and wrapped between the man's legs, the angel's pelvis locked to the man's left hip, only the man's loincloth of fur separating them, the angel hoisted from the ground by the man's embrace—nothing remotely erotic about this; nothing at all …Both are muscular, though the man, who must be named Jacob, is slightly more so. This embrace, as we are told, is neither classical in its presentation nor the least bit realistic; the man and the angel are joined belly to chest, the sweat on their skins a glue. I would be lying if I said I only noticed this casually, the way Jacob's lifting of the angel is counterbalanced by the angel's resistance, the way it almost looks like a dance. I would be lying if I said I wasn't excited by th

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C. Dale Young is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Torn (Four Way Books, 2011). A recent Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry, he is a 2013 Fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation. He lives in San Francisco, California, and practices medicine full-time.

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By C. Dale Young

—after Léon Bonnat First off, the wings were too perfect. Second, that the angel is both pushing the man with his left hand while embracing him with his right, the […]

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