After a line from “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg.
We searched in the white clapboard walls of the Baptist churches
that circumscribed our childhood questions. We searched
Google for Internet mysticism, Wikipedia’d Baha’i
and the Eightfold Path. We added Rumi to our Goodreads,
Netfli’d Dalai Lama documentaries. We went with friends
to church and turned our mouths from wine and wafer,
our feet towards the door. We ached for the God
of the stars, the dynamo churning, turning us
from mere flesh and marrow, mere cartilage, turning us
greater, expansive, expanding, mechanical-electric and spinning
with the exhilaration of a cold winter night.
We sang loud in choir and felt our breath yearn
towards the singular, the becoming.
We backpacked cathedrals and stood in St. Peter’s
with the choir humming in our lungs.
We saw Michelangelo in the Pietà and the holy
in the Pietà and the human in the Pietà. We asked
and were asked, why care, if He is only human to you?
as if human compassion were somehow less remarkable
than the compassionate divine, as if a mother’s grief
were not, still, a mother’s grief. We wondered
at the stone, its marrow, its maker.
Maybe this is how it is. The stone and the unseen
chisel, carving until the angel or the man
is set free. Maybe we are waiting for the marble
to be skimmed from our skin, for the dust
to clear our lungs. We wipe dust from our ribs
and see them pews. We go out and close
our books. We feel metal tap our crowns.
We stretch our hands and sing holy
to the stars, the sinners, the black holes ravenous
in the center of our galaxy. We sing to the strings
of the atoms that vibrate in our lungs.
We sing the choirs inside of us, praising the warmth
of the stone where hands just lay.
Fall, 2017 Issue