Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Late and Getting Later

Jesus waits for me as always in the chapel of 4 a.m. I enter underdressed, with snowflakes on my shoulders, and the exquisite sadness I have been cultivating since I first learned about death. You can hear the train whistle, you can hear the owl, and you can pretend they are not the same thing. He reminds me sometimes of a man whittling a flute: he is amused by my search for what pleases him. The way the wind sounds from under pine trees, a poem about dogs, the self-image of a man without shoes. Frivolity abounds. Tell me why you are scared of love, he says. There are ghosts everywhere, even at noon, especially at noon. I don't answer, which is a kind of answer, but not the kind I want to offer anymore. It isn't worship he's after, or sanctification. And he doesn't need me to explain anything. My uncles are here, including the ones who died before I was born, leaning against one another in the dimly-lit choir loft. The teeth of the poor are both eloquent and beautiful. How tired we become insisting that salvation resemble this and not another story. A church is one - but not the only - excuse to kneel. To say I miss you misses the point. On the other hand, who else is there at this late - and getting later - juncture?

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