in the flood
which has yet to come
in the prison
which has yet to exist
Not having played
the game of chess
I’m already the checkmate
Not having tasted
a single cup of your wine
I’m already drunk
Not having entered
I’m already wounded and slain
I no longer
know the difference
between image and reality
Like the shadow
I am not
I am anxious, which looks
a lot like the young sparrow's
feathers quivering taught
as it pecks a meal of seed
endlessly aware of theft
by beak or death by talon.
And I am so proud of it.
Both my tense tissues
and frantic sparrow
vibrating in the sunlight
fearing our pains and endings,
ingesting our stubborn
dedication to life.
How many times have I wanted
to leave the world?
Actually, I know the number.
It’s a very holy number
though hard to enumerate.
It’s the last prime number,
indivisible. Just a number
declaring that dumb love is the body
before all numbers
tumble off into infinity.
That’s how many times
I have wanted to leave
the world, because I reject
the world’s destiny into
all infinity, and prefer
the ignorant everlasting
of love’s decay.
Of course I keep stuffing the ***** rags
of ****** illusion down my throat!
Much better than drowning in the dark pools
of syrupy disdain you've wrung
from your tacky garments of fear.
I read of a mystic who, as a child,
fell backwards, his endearment
for creation needing to race
beyond the boundaries
of his body, when he looked up
and witnessed the dark underbellies
of flying geese framed against the sickly
verdant clouds of a thunderhead.
I nearly fell over myself tonight
looking up and witnessing the black
veins of the Pin Oak framed against
the city's navy orange overcast.
But I stopped myself long before
a full tumble because I worried
what the neighbors might think.
The grace of creation is always there
to be witnessed, and courage
is the good sense to put the miracle
of belonging well before the loss.
For the first time since Mid-March,
when I reached the end of my drive
at the start of an early night's walk,
I looked up and actually saw the moon
and the stars. That is to say, the lights in my eyes
intimately explained their cold journeys
across the sky's expanse, so the moon
and the stars are more complete now
because I see them, and my body
is more complete now because it
has been touched by the dedication
of creation's brightest fires.
I understand fear as the worship
of the suffering bound to come,
and I understand fearlessness
as the respectful nod of recognition
traversing the spaces between
luminous creatures all prepared
to perish so long as the love continues.
We've all heard the sonorous brook
use water, stone, bank, and gravity
to tell some lovely stories.
But I'm angry and wise now,
so the other day, I actually
heard it tell the truth -
That god has no power.
But, god does walk with full mercy
deep into our dark cloud of suffering.