Rebecca Irene's work is published, or forthcoming, in Carve Magazine, Juked, The Atlanta Review, Typehouse Magazine, Burningword Literary Journal, *82 Review, Amaryllis, Dime Show Review, Balancing Act 2, and elsewhere.
She received a 2018 fellowship from the Norton Island Artist Program, where she lived in a remote log cabin, and moved her first-book manuscript, Weigheth The Worth, close to completion. 2019 residencies were granted from SAFTA, and Hewnoaks.
"Stay," in Typehouse Magazine, Spring 2019
As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool
returneth to his folly. – Proverbs 26:11 KJV
When I taught the Bible, I was in love
with Solomon – Poet. Ruler. Lover.
Until I discovered that he enjoyed
watching dogs scavenge the dead.
of carcass in the teeth of want.
I was well suited for conversion,
developed the face of a martyred
saint. I asked women to church
on street corners, buses, & subways.
Pleaded in cafes, pools, & bars.
Whenever I taught Solomon,
I disremembered his 700 wives,
& 300 concubines. I kept my doubts
to myself, shared Solomon’s verse
in strident tones. Taught with symbols:
fool as woman, folly as sin. As a dog
returneth to her vomit, so a woman
returneth to her sin. I imagined Solomon,
freed from lusts, at long last, at the right
hand of our Lord & Savior, approved.
The thrill of saving souls was like no other.
Chosen. Redeemer of the lost. I forgave
each confessor, offered her repentance,
offered the sacred scriptures of Solomon
as solace, baptized with song, & gazed
into her eyes. As Solomon must have
after each new battle. Bathed, sated,
resplendent in royal righteousness,
with new flesh by his side. Some of those
I studied the Bible with remain faithful.
Zealous. They still call me their spiritual
mother, & pray for my lost soul. Sometimes,
I wish I could return to them, find faith’s
certainty again, but that was so long ago –
I was unable to stay.
"Dear Cicada (or Diatribe in a Favorite Childhood Tree)," in Juked Magazine, August 2019
"The Walk to School," in Burningword Literary Journal, July 2018
"Side Work," in Dime Show Review, April 2018