Poetry: Rachel Custer’s “Apotheosis”

Rachel Custer


The first integrated church in Indiana
was the Peoples Temple,
founded by Jim Jones.

“Portrait of Victoria” (detail) by Alejandro Rosemberg

Convince a man he is god
And he will hurt you
In all the ways ordinarily
reserved for gods:

Ownership, a burning.
A touch he needs not earn.
A touch like a door shutting
a woman in. Here,

In my current state,
There are at least five men
Who claim divinity. Women
Falling at their feet like sighs.

I fall the same way
I rise, questions stopping
Up my throat. Panic

The tabernacles of my eyes.


About the writer:
Rachel Custer‘s first full-length collection, The Temple She Became, is available from Five Oaks Press. Other work has previously been published or is forthcoming in Rattle, OSU: The Journal, The American Journal of Poetry, B O D Y, [PANK], and The Antigonish Review. Rachel Custer is the O:JA&L “Featured Writer” for February 2019. On February 13, 2019, Rachel Custer officially became a recipient of a 2019 Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Image:Portrait of Victoria (8)” by Alejandro Rosemberg. Oil on canvas. 31.5 x 21.9 inches. 2017. By permission. Rosemberg is a hyperrealist painter. Rosemberg is from Buenos Aires where he paints and teaches classical techniques. He attended the National University of Cordoba Art School where he received his degree in Fine Arts in Painting. He continued his study of classical painting based on the Italian Great Masters Tradition with Maestro Claudio Bogino. Alejandro Rosemberg is the O:JA&L “Featured Artist” for February 2019.