Self-Portrait as the Apostle Paul | Chapter and Verse | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Self-Portrait as the Apostle Paul

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In the mirror, I don’t have a beard but I could grow one
if I wished, like an erection, strong and sharp as the sword
of a man of God. Today morning comes in like the Turkish sun,
a cut of light so sharp all else falls to shadow behind me.
With a towel wrapped around my freshly washed hair, I catch
the image of a man in a turban, God shining through him.
No burden of uterus, of carrying another life inside. I’m liberated
as a head without a body.

− Amy Lee Heinlen

Amy Lee Heinlen studies poetry and publishing in the master’s of fine arts program at Chatham University, where she also works as a librarian. Her poetry and reviews have appeared in Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Pretty Owl Poetry, Olentangy Review, Mom Egg Review, multiple volumes of the Voices from the Attic anthology, Coal Hill Review and elsewhere. She is poetry editor for the newly launched Bloodletters Literary Magazine. She lives in Swissvale.


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