Rachel Custer


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

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 is the Poetry Editor and a reviewer and editorialist at O:JA&L. Her first full-length poetry 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. On February 13, 2019, Rachel Custer became a recipient of a 2019 Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Rachel Custer is the poetry editor at O:JA&L.

Image: Portrait of Victoria by Alejandro Rosemberg. Oil on canvas. 31.5 x 20.9 inches. 2017. By permission.

About the artist:
Alejandro Rosemberg is an Argentine fine artist trained by Claudio Bogino in the classical style of the Italian Great Masters. He studied color under Graydon Parrish at the Grand Central Academy of New York. His works are presently being exhibited in the United States and Canada, respectively represented by Principle Gallery in Virginia and White Rock Gallery in Vancouver. Passionate about teaching the techniques he uses, he invests much time and dedication to his drawing and painting classes and workshops held in Brazil, the USA, and Argentina. Rosemberg is the O:JA&L Featured Artist for February 2019.