The Common Good
May-June 2002

On the Road to Emmaus

by Rose Marie Berger | May-June 2002

I once met a woman who—
in a frenzy of wild praise
and to fight the devil—ate glass.

I once met a woman who—
in a frenzy of wild praise
and to fight the devil—ate glass.
Not shot glasses, juice glasses,
or tumblers; not pub pints
or goblets, but 100 watt
incandescent bulbs—filament
and all. Even energy saving
fluorescent tubes slid slowly down
her throat like flaming swords. She glued
mirror shards on her teeth to keep
them clean and to keep the devil
off his guard. She threaded rusty
piano wire from cheek to cheek
to dazzle him with her delicate scars.
Once, in a holy stupor, she drove
nails through her hands, perfectly piercing
the flexor digitorum.
When she danced with the devil
(and beat him), she whirled.
Then her tongue bubbled diamonds,
and she spilled over with invisible light.


Rose Marie Berger is assistant editor (and poetry editor) of Sojourners.

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)