Sunday, August 16, 2015
Across the Mapless Landscape
How hard it is to bear her kindness for even a little while! I stumble through a half-lit morning, convinced there's a right prayer - a secret prayer - and I don't know it. Yet somewhere a train rumbles down tracks overlooking a river, and somewhere a heron strikes the silver anvil of a pond killing fish, and somewhere further yet a woman bends her head in prayer in a dim midwestern poustinia. Oh, Christ, what I wouldn't give to have nothing to give! And Christ what sequence of poems must I utter - what transparently holy supplication must I make - to at last go wordless through the yet more wordless dark? How slowly the lessons come! How faintly the hymn begins where chickadees wake up in bowers of sunlit pine! The duty of the moment begs my attention, and I try to say yes, despite this greed and this hunger and lust. For I love the cross, and the nails and the thorns, and the long shadow it throws across the mapless landscape, everyone kneeling in its rivers of whiskey and blood. If you were here I would open you, hold you hard, over and over, and cry out against your throat, and rise and plead with the Maker of Saints to forgive me, fulfill me, and then fall again to your thighs, that landscape, that openness, forever seeking the emptiness that blesses the one whose love is spent, who has nothing left. Bring me your mouth - I will fill it with stars - mine has turned now to dust.