Friday, July 18, 2014

Swallowing Stars

Clouds from the west bunch like gray flowers folding. A female cardinal settles in the dogwood tree not unnoticed. Chipmunks trill from risky perches on the backyard fence. Hunger is everywhere happening now.

One longs for bookstores from the 1970's, one feels in the wind the dust of ancient Palestine. God is reconstructed when you kneel, recalled in the prayer you utter leaning forward. Swallowing stars in order to rest my wings? I remember baking bread in Vermont, I remember swans flying overhead singing.

And I try to say ahead of narrative of course, terrified as always of correction. With you I surrendered the compass, with you I burned the charts. Oh to hear the rustling maple leaves a final time before the sun rises! Bliss where gravel calls the river home.

She laughed when I went into the garden naked to gather tomatoes for a salad. You move beyond the bible and beyond shirts falling softly onto motel floors, only to arrive at the ancestral whiskey bottle and Jesus saying quietly try again. I mean that hymn and no other. He burned the envelope in which she mailed no photograph.

And yet at night the faroff owl reminds me that it's not about me and never was. When I go slowly, God is there, going slower. One day I will set the twenty sentences aside and breathe and even sleep. For now a little rain, a bowl of olives from Chrisoula's grove in Greece, and sheets on the clothesline trailing beautifully away in the mid-summer wind.

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