Tuesday, September 1, 2009

For Rick: On that Sunday afternoon (Poem)

Another from Browns and Rusts. Again: feedback encouraged (any place it's difficult to read, needs clarification, etc.).

* * * *

For Rick: On that Sunday afternoon,
(On Revelation)

we’d dropped in on your first year divorced,
slendered into your secondhand couch like
three secondhand gods come to spare you
the gnawing of solitude. As you slid

a kitchen chair across berber the color
of prayer, sat alone in the bosom of the room,
soul mantled in memories stained amber with
oil, sweat, tears, we asked how you’d been.

Eyes deep as rosary beads blackened with use,
you looked up, told of rib ripped from flesh, of
a twenty-years spouse spliced into the side
of your one-time friend, of four kids become

weekending guests to your solitude, light stitches
God purled in your hope to keep the seams tight.
Fingers telling this knotted thread up your side
like Jacob climbing to God, angels testing

each tier in Christ’s flesh like you’d roused
the crepuscular rays of your wounds
prayer by sweltering prayer, you sidled up to
apocalypse, unraveled the hem of God’s flame.

Before we left, you asked if we could pray, said
you’d speak as you softened your posture
instinctively pressed to the wound, then knelt,
gathered breath, blew open the curtains on God,

and, sifting his mystery, slid the sun from its arc,
quenched the bead in your brimful basin of soul,
and, balm aboil, clarified the room to a white stone
seared smooth in the smoldering palm of your words.