Greatest God, Creation United,
Friends of the Mystery, Humans Divine:
Today has come with your call.
Its greatest accomplishments,
Its eminent failures—
All of this world in the light and the dark.
You have taught me
In infinite, passionate ways
That the dark greets the light
And light lives in darkness—
Nothing that lives, lives alone.
For I have inspired the souls that today will be great
As I am enlightened by those in your world
I never shall meet.
Teach me to live in their promise and hope,
To know my existence is proof of your good.
Allow me a vision of greatness,
That I may adore all graces and gifts
And today, loving Lord, loving Spirit,
Give me the strength to manifest love,
And grant this day every chance to create,
To redeem, and to save.
In your name, and mine; unerring love,
* * *
“For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2
And lo, I saw three angels sitting upon the highest court in heaven
And their names were Tolerance, I, and Forgotten.
And they did not stir, nor speak, nor command exultation.
But they said, harmonious and absent, “Hello again, brother.”
* * *
I lost my sheet, in the waking-wallow morning-after
stirred with semen in the blankets, swashing over
both of us. and i looked down, and saw skin against skin,
crisp and fresh. long since forgotten polos strewn,
long-retired Looms across the floor. and all i thought,
from the end of each rebellious ray of light:
what sin, sin, abominable sin! there was nothing to forgive
and yet, it recoiled, first from love, then from fear.
but i could not myself.
I lowered my lips and kissed him on the ear; he grinned and
muttered something sweet beneath the morning breath that
wafted by my rebellious hair. and I laughed, rubbing my nose
against a cold-flesh back. and still, hell-bound, I caught him
up with both my arms, and wrapped our curves together. it was
a morning red with sin, so be it. and i was happier to feel
weak beyond repair, so deep in love, so second to lust;
the day was little matter anymore. and the sun knew well enough
to bow before the glory of its namesake.
* * *
“Love one another intensely from a pure heart. You have been born anew, not from perishable, but from imperishable seed.” 1 Peter 1:22-23
And the wind overcame me, and I knelt before them.
Swiftly, I ushered her wings, and she drew near me.
She spoke softly, words as gentle as salvation.
She whispered: “Why have you come back to us?”
* * *
because of ruffled mornings by the leaning iron
standard of the bus stop, tilting so far
into the holiday streets; it was dead on
Saturday, the day I took the bus, and waited
at the curb, and watched the souls on wheels
there adopt the concrete passageways.
but while the wind was somehow whistling
through me–I could feel the chill behind my
ears–the bus had stalled at some stop before
to drop its wheels at the thought of geriatric
patrons. there stopped by my wandering window
of daydreams, a jagged woman with arms bent
and nails curved inward, and a half-step to a full
and a sweatwshirt purer than its newborn counterpart,
and she looked at me and said: “my husband beats me;
I live now on the streets, safer than my home.
Do you have a dollar for coffee, for sanity, for
me?” but i said, “nothing, here, take these passes
for the bus that leads you away, far away from him.”
and she greeted such honesty with grins, and said
she might, if she could. if, she was the sort, that would
and the city could not unhinge her soulmate.
she walked on, as the bus neared, and coward to a stop.
i mounted it, and it took me on, watching as i did through
the open window. And the miles took themselves,
with the prayer of a smallish soul
and on an every saturday, the widow walked
black and on, beneath a sagging sky.
* * *
“Do not be afraid of anything that you are going to suffer. Indeed, the devil will throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested. Remain faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10
But there was no voice to answer her,
And I fell gray as stone.
At the birth of silence,
fortune rekindled my breath, and I began to speak.
* * *
in tongues that fashion after nine-tails,
i hurried through the argument and cut my
angst so quick, the walls of my heart began
to bleed; but there was nothing to collect it.
he turned the voice of god upon its head, and
said so sure as men are, being what they are
animals, distinct but insignificant and dead
tomorrow, they have little designs on greatness.
and how i couldn’t begin to breathe the air we
shared that night, and how little left in common,
and how sick a thought that i had tried to love
this eminent human being. but he smiled, and
shrugged every minute, and I remembered why.
and with the hours passed, and nighttime interrupting,
i called the end, the end. and he cried after me
and said the world was beautiful. but it was not before
he believed with all his heart, his empty, organic,
calcified heart: i am ignorant of all the world.
and i walked on, and tears would not move me.
* * *
“He first created man from clay, then made his offspring from a drop of humble fluid. He moulded him, and breathed His Spirit into him.” The Koran, Adoration 32:6
“I have come from the ends of my earth,
From the losses and victories, the sums of my world.”
Then rose Forgotten, and with a piercing echo
Commanded the day be remembered by my name.
* * *
all saints have seen the sudden, where only
hiding graces seem to crawl. and i was camped
between the better and the greatest, and i chose
to run into the street, where mangled cars were
steaming, though i had work to do.
and i reached between the fragments of the glass,
and i crawled inside the flaming car; it was
a cage of iron. i looked, and there i saw a
child, small, curled in a heap beyond the glass.
and with bleeding arms, I reached for her;
she fell into their hobbled grasp, but somehow
stayed the course, and i lifted through the window
slicing down my apathetic arm, and never thinking,
never wondering why i would invest in such a life,
i ran across the street again, and nearly burned
alive, but there, i laid the wailing infant on the
street. and its arms relaxed, and its crying waned.
inside the noise crept doctors, and through the
smoke voices raised in panic. they took her from the
asphalt bed, and led her to the roar of sirens
and the promise of tempermental medicine.
i crouched there, by the street.
i laid my head between the cracks
and tucked my knees up to my chest. my arms
colored all my clothes with brilliant red
and on a tuesday, half-past eight, i slept.
* * *
“For every soul there is a guardian watching it. Let man reflect from whom he is created.” The Koran, The Nightly Vistant 86:1
Then came Tolerance, her wings aflight
And the angels three circled me about
Their eyes drenching the shadows of my soul
Until my world was struck with darkness.
* * *
where there was no light, and wind was whispering
between the fingers of the branches, the forest
i lay down next to the pregnant ocean, waters
raging against centuries of stone, and thought
on where the end had been for days. morning after
brilliant sunrise would be hopeful hours
rising over native mountains, unmoved by the
peripatetic emotions of unsubtle humans been.
my uncles knew these horizons, this brilliant yellow
and softened red, the pink, the gold, the orange—
and their uncles before them. and someday, I knew
there were children kneeling at the water’s edge
washing a dirt-encrusted face, and looked over the
caps of the mountains. and there was nothing else;
these champions of the aboriginal, they were our
home. but i have other worlds today, and i would not
have thought i belonged to mountains, or isolationist
waters. i have other words for home; but I cannot
pretend i should live elsewhere. why else do I sit,
as the hopeless day sets, the stars begin to sparkle
and all the faults of the world fall into sleep?
* * *
“The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” Exodus 15:1-2
Panic seized me; in fits I railed against the blackness.
The absence of all light would not confess;
The angels three dissolved into heaven’s night.
However consumed by blindness, I was calmed in the silence
By an unknown spirit pervading the unending angst.
* * *
and it would not matter, where the arguments fell;
it could not matter how often I hated her and how
utterly broken she was. nor did it matter
that i think of exiling friends
charged with luck and blessing, while all i know
is jealousy and want. goddamn the cursed blessings
of love’s dishonest favor! there, with sheets
unkempt at my feet, with the careless breeze
wading through the open window, I lay my hands
against the stark canvas of the linen.
they started in anger; i could feel the heartbeat
throbbing from throat to my fingertips.
they inched toward each other, fingers gracing
the curves of each. until, slowly, they rested
intertwined. and when they closed upon each other,
so did my eyes; so did my breath. conducted by
the wind, I grafted the wanting pieces of my heart
together. I shivered, naked. I crumpled, brittle.
and without inquisition, the sorrow wound its way
through the gates of my defenses and came to rest
on the edge of my palms. then, he said from the rustled
bush outside the window, from my corrugated love,
you are forgiven.
* * *
“Should there be a prophet among you, in visions will I reveal myself to him, in dreams will I speak to him.” Numbers 12:6
And though the darkness clung to me;
And though my eyes could not see;
And though fear filled my veins,
Yet I could feel the pulse of elation
And the soft triumph of victory.
* * *
bedside stirs the anxious dust, that I was sure
yesterday was wiped away forever, and above it
towers a dying lamp. there is a soft glow at bedtime
that has no equal in sun or star, and therefore, I
retreat into dreaming, gazing up at the visions of
odd textures, flowing through each other. there is a
song whispering to me, and in front of me, and
beside me; its lyrics I have memorized, but its voice
is something incomprehensibly beautiful. the tones
climb on top of one another, the notes play hop-
scotch, the recess ends, and one soured chord is left
to collect himself before the excitement ends. and it
is somehow bittersweet to fall into crescendo, and close
my eyes and move beyond my bed, my soul. and when they
have stood long enough in the playground, and all the
games are ended, silence shadows the emotions wrought.
who would end the joy of childhood? who would ever cease
to play this song, this song that rips tears where tears
have been always absent, conjures smiles when anger dominates,
and tends to dream when minds are bent on worry? so it plays
beside me, lit gently by an evening glow, danced by
figures in the stars. and slowly, bedtime turns a life
to reverie that plays beneath a taxing sun.
* * *
One either side of heaven
Rests the banks of wandering Styx.
You may have thought, with Dante,
That its dirge convenes and ends
Deep inside the netherworlds—
In the maw of corruption,
The dens of collusion blacker than pitch.
But where is the water raging with fire?
Where is the mute Shadow of Death,
Parting the waters and stirring the tide
With his staff?
These locks of the sea, traipsing about,
Bending and bathing cerulean calm—
Where did they come from,
and how is such peace
The concord of death?
“Ah,” says the Lord, in his thousands of names:
“Do you think I ever would banish myself
To eternal perdition, and the laughable torture
Of reprobate flames?”
It was then I remembered, ages uncounted ago,
Parting the water of serpentine streams
Until, at the last, I had mastered the current;
It led me from land to the limitless bounds of the sea.