the tape is a blur of
songs sung loud in a messy
house vivid patchwork
some mention of a circus
close to the tear in the hand-made quilt
I touch your brow
take your medicine before you go out to play
Round, pink, chewable analgesic
as you lift your head to receive the pill
Eucharist in the living room,
old and beautiful
Words for “good” and “grace”
So close to your already liturgical
A boy in flight
…if we had a fort..
in a fit of unease
she has an out-of-body experience
Rising above the squalor
Imagining what it would be like
To live inside the perfect house
Instead–she dusts the counters and all the edges
with cinnamon to deter the sugar ants
Beats the air with questions
Washes and re-washes clothes, stones, teeth
Delays bodily functions
To search for
-The weighted blanket-
Surrogate mother/synthetic comforter
of a lullaby sung softly by the
with the ghosts of children,
hammers nails into the wall
for improbable angels
they float above
small, intricate, perfect
each flicker just a moment then
Because they were not…
Because they were not…
I still have unanswered questions for the hand-sized catfish I pulled out of the Blanco River today.
It was caught in some debris, entangled in some fishing line.
Hard to get to.
Weirdly specific salvation (if you don’t believe in a God who sees stuck fish).
But if you do…
You wonder who was the fisher with the broken line?
When was he last here?
How long has this darkish catfish been stuck in the line?
Will it live? Line cut, hook still in?
The Gospel is chocked full of fish stories.
But they don’t all get saved, hook or no hook still stuck in the craw.
And then there is me: fished out by Jesus, standing wet in the afternoon sun, inventorying fish stories.
- The one about the guy stuck in one for three days…
- The one where the nets broke…
- The one where the fish seems to have swallowed a Roman coin.
…. Caesar’s likeness on the coin in its belly.
….No sign but Jonah
….The empire of Rome long gone
this one small fish wriggles free
marvels at the hidden depths
in the quotidian
stories of being
having an ordinary name
(Think cow or child’s toy)
Betty, Becky, pieces left out
I ask myself
What if it was George? Harold? Londerson? Jamal?
Would I still
Recognize your voice
Trace the familiar
Your hands, your face?
Your gaze holds firm
Your love unswerving
come to the dark
stones skipped along the surface
will sink into concentric ghosts
hard to measure
School girls in bright
knees, waist, chest
As if they had forgotten
They are luminous,
formed of fire and light.
these interlocking pieces-
a woman in the crowd reaches out to touch
Slowing down motion
to Jairus’ daughter
Take this stranger by the hand
(For science, of course)
-While the girl lies dying-
All of us
nailed to this single day in history
When you let go of
Everything you had a right to hold
Go where we never
want to go
Then tell Mary
Don’t touch me
Last trace of hell still on my skin
You draw us to your
Make us whole again
With this system of touch.