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Holy Water

5 Nov

A loud Sunday morning cloudburst interrupts the sermon,
as if to quench our thirst. In this old stone church
cut and leaded glass depictions of Christ’s life and work
continue lifting the worshiper to holy
                        God, even if grayed by storms.


I have repaired old windows, have extracted the brittle glazing,
and, once, a long wavy shard plunged suddenly to flesh,
severed so many tiny vessels a ribbon leapt like Christmas
from my inner wrist—red wet
                        the pieces and the pavement.

My eyes reach for the folds of an umbrella flat on the floor
and the sermon pours, the Nimble Priest carousing
all through my veins and arteries. His footfall the slipper sound
of water cleansing gore above
                        armies of the angels waging war.  


Moving Day

23 Oct

My stylist shows up at the reception and we quick tumble
into tangles of flirtation: a magnetic, dark-eyed Italian

and a full-length, flattered red head who wishes
nickels vacuumed up at the car wash enough, but I see

she’s made of different stuff.  A couple of weeks we talk,
drink coffee—then admission: for you, I’d change my plans

When she says I shouldn’t, I go back to my apartment.  I’m down
on the rug beside half-filled packing boxes gathering dust

when in my heart like a hush, a painter bends a brush:
always he is furthering a fresco of forgiveness.