Prime Architect, the absurdity of your art
fills me up like a riddle, bends the bars of
reason I'm forged within. A Byzantine
world - every fold and layer gyro'd in
astronomical administration, the scheming
of cogs clicking perfectly into place:
vast machinations leaving me windless,
birdsong squeezed entirely from bellows. Up
a lonesome trail; steep and narrow,
knowing faith is a sword too heavy to hold.
HAVE FAITH, they told me; prodded me
to constancy as a mother in S. Carolina backed
her station wagon into a lake with locked
doors and two sons inside. Evil has no horns
after all - it's a lozenge the flavor of a kiss,
there but not there, some puff of violet smoke
unraveling from a dancing brass censer.
The lance of Longinus pierces fleece;
the snake encircling the world swallows
its tail once more.
Jesus, be gentle. Come into me,
pop my doubt like an oozing fruit,
harness me to the light so I might saddle
and swing to the sound of your breath as it
sighs amongst the reeds. Test the
limits of my body as I have chewed and
swallowed yours. Communion makes
a cathedral of me, etches shadow
amongst the stars of the vaulted clerestory
as the nave shimmers with the swords
of flaming prayer.
HAVE FAITH, they told me, massage the
qualms from your dark marbles. Drop coins
down the wishing hole, let the godhead flow
through, like ink, to the parchment of you.
Alexandria burns again in the distance,
books yet unwritten exploding within us all
like the floral horror of a supernova.
Arcana lost, arcana found. Meanwhile, reason
and faith explode through the doors of the
friary, grappling like shadows draped upon
the thirsty Earth.
Iscariot, lay me in your bed of thorns and
mandrake, foxglove and myrrh; call me love,
drink blood from me as the moon sets over
Gethsemane. Let the light darken for a bag of
silver, let the bush burn down like a candle
smoldering cold. I've traced upon my bedsheets
maps of the world in its unmaking, lined shelves
with complete skeletons of extinct animals,
their hopelessness; the guts of this 7-day
world, veined with ribbons of gold, starred
by rubies and amethysts of the
deep-down. All of this, man's
betrayal of man.
HAVE FAITH, I tell myself; within the *****
of this bouncy ball clockworked amongst
the spheres, there's a place: vault
of the Animus, where God melts
away in your mouth, where Lady Macbeth
is still wringing her hands beneath
the font and the horses feast upon the
Eucharist of each other's bodies
like they were Easter hams, like their
blood were sweet wine. Where Abraham's
blade still shadows Isaac's binding;
where death has no power over us.
"In every way the treachery of Judas would seem to be the most mysterious and unintelligible of sins. For how could one chosen as a disciple, and enjoying the grace of the Apostolate and the privilege of intimate friendship with the Divine Master, be tempted to such gross ingratitude - for such a paltry price?"
- The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1910