Qui diceris Paraclitus
(O Comforter, to Thee we cry)
__________—“Veni, Creator Spiritus”
at me, Comforter. I strain
toward your inrushing arrow as it halves
then halves then halves
the distance that severs us.
comes its Zeno-arrow lurches
in time lapse, not
still where it was, not yet in that place where it is not.
Come to me, Paraclitus, across
the trillions of synaptic clefts in the brain, re-
the molecules of my consoling:
norepinephrine, dopamine, cast
offerings into the voltaic
gap between us. Synapse: apse. Semi-domed
recessive altars, almost touching. Come, Untouchable, from the other side.
Come, Comforter, but noli
me tangere, stay
on the dendrite’s side of that infinit-
esimal fissure between
herenow and Kingdom Come, like the cleft
where Moses cowered
in the rock while the cleaving
obliterative glory of the Lord
passed him by….
There’s a hole in us, says Pascal, in the shape of God.
It can only be refilled by what’s infinite, what’s
hole-shaped itself and long-torn-away.
It bears the empty print and trace of bliss.
I run my fingers over and over
my temples, feeling
under skull-ridges for the brain
riddled with the rifts
cleft there as Thee.
The Lord spake unto Moses face to face,
as a man speaketh unto his friend. Nine
verses later, in Exodus: And the Lord said,
Thou canst not see my face:
for there shall no man see me, and live. Come, Uncomforter.
Some prayer ferries over the cerebrospinal fluid
(nearer-my-god, nearer) zeroing
on Your ever-called-for unarrival.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.