Menu

Poetry

Both hands of a clock rotate counterclockwise
as I read backwards—you, give, leave, I,  peace.
You gave us peace. You left us peace. You left
us for a little while until you returned, glorified
in an era without aerial shots, prior to montage.
A figurative clock I mentioned is anachronistic.
You said, Peace I leave you. My peace I give you.
Where is a criminal’s memory of your last hour,
quaking midnight of an olive tree in the nerves,
flesh-pit of soil engendered by God, yet son of man
not without yearning? Yes, I visited a nook where
I was birthed, my raw delivery. Read about you
without knowing your love. Peace I leave you.
You left us your serenity
_____________________not as the world gives.
You forgave.
Nothing I do can deliver me from my own folly.
Yet when this basin of hunger pours its shame,
even my blunt senses touch a healing salve—
______ without fragrance or blight,
  ______your pseudo-absence
__________________ is holy presence—
blotted rosettes on a chilled ledge
under linen, seventy-five pounds of aloe, myrrh,
your lungs ninety percent sea, nine percent
Nazareth well water. Who are we
_____________to say what is pure,
this marvelous opening
onto light?


The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Access one piece of artwork every month for free! To experience the full archive, log in or subscribe.

Related Poetry

abstract yellow bokeh in front of turquoise blue blurs

In Our Time

By

Ilya Kaminsky

Now I Lay Me Down

By

Judith Sornberger

Saint Taciturn

By

Robert Avery

Imperative

By

Richard Spilman

Pin It on Pinterest