NATIVITY by Harmony Button


by Harmony Button

What he heard last night,
while letting out the dog:

A weird whistling sound –
like a hole in the throat of an angel.

And afterward, when all the photo albums
had been searched for evidence of child-size
imposters, refugees from heaven who may have
sought shelter here,

afterward, she thought to remind him:

Did you close the garage? Did you lock the door?

He had not. He rarely did. Anyone who knew anything
knew of better ways to thieve a living than in their kind of carport.

She thought they’d better take a look.

Sure enough, they found it there: the imposter,
lying in a manger,
a mangy doppelganger
for a savior.

The whistling grew louder.

Do you have any duct tape? She asked, growing
more compassionate now that they’d found him, now that he was here
in her garage—divine trespasser.

…..And so she located some swaddling
and wrapped his limbs, his gaping hole,
but when it came time to apply pressure to the wound,
she couldn’t:

…..There’s a world in there, she said. You can’t suture
the wound of the world.

Nonsense, he said. Give it to me.

So she did –
and didn’t –

but nobody seemed to notice the difference.

Harmony-ButtonHarmony Button is a contributing editor at PaperTape Magazine and the English Department Chair of the Waterford School in Utah. Her work has been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Web awards, and has appeared in journals such as Colorado Review, Chicago Quarterly, Southwestern American Lit, Cobalt, Rock & Sling, Drafthorse, and Ithaca Lit. Find links to other works at



Image credit: The Nativity, Workshop of Rogier van der Weyden, (Netherlandish, Tournai ca. 1399–1464 Brussels), Metropolitan Museum of Art


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