Jessina Leonard

Originally from Philadelphia, Jessina Leonard is a photographer and artist currently residing in Durham, North Carolina. She is a graduate of Wheaton College and Duke Divinity School and she works at Cassilhaus Gallery and Duke's Center for Documentary Studies. She very rarely tweets @JessinaLeonard.


We have had a difficult swim through all that:
there were days when your hair was greasy,
the aureole absent, but the absence revealing
once presence, the summer will of God.

There were days when my voice was hollow,
arched with hesitance, hour of iridescence
alighting in an ash-washed room: dry bones
indicating since past gestures of grace.

Measure your time with split-pea soup
and eat a peach while you’re at it, but
what does that leave behind? After this
our exile, after this our prayerless day

show us into the blessed fruit of presence,
the bread of the womb, the visible hand,
not aura but annunciation, that which is
plain, spoken, announced.